- North Macedonia
- Public contracting
- Abuse of official position or authority
- 1st instance procedure
Description of the case
On 29 June 2017, the Special Prosecution Office (SPO) brought an indictment against three defendants in the Tenderi case for abuse of official position and authorisation under Article 353 of the Criminal Code (CC).
In the period between June 2011 and December 2013, the former culture minister Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska and members of the public procurement commission abused their official positions in the conduct of a procurement to build part of the Museum of VMRO and Macedonian Struggle for Independence. Kanceska-Milevskais now stands accused of concluding an agreement with a contractor in violation of the Public Procurement Law, which resulted in damages of more than €1 million to the state budget.
The defendants awarded the contract to the Beton construction company to perform final construction and craft works on the buildings of three museums in Skopje.
However, Kanceska-Milevska chose the winning bidder even before announcing the public call. Owing to the conditions set in the public call, Beton was the sole construction company that took part in the tender. On 5 August 2011, a contract was signed between Beton and the Ministry of Culture for a value of MKD 62,480,543 (€1 million).
Abuse of official position and authorisation (Article 353 of the Criminal Code)
Cooperation (Article 22 of the CC)
Other (non/criminal) laws breached
Suspects' institutional affiliation
Ministry of Culture
Date of offending
From June 2011 to August 2011
Sector affected by the offence
Public contracting; Construction and urbanism
The Tenderi case is one of several corruption cases linked to the former government that have undermined public trust in the VMRO-DPMNE party, which was the ruling party at the time, and led to its defeat in the parliamentary elections of 2016.
The Court of First Instance Skopje 1 Skopje; Skopje Court of Appeal
Related domestic or foreign cases
The Tenderi case is one of the cases that is connected to the Skopje 2014 project.
As part of the Skopje 2014 project, Beton did work totalling €55 million on seven buildings: Finki, Mepso, the Constitutional Court, the Faculty of Physical Culture, the VMRO Museum (Tenderi case), the Old Theatre and the floorplan of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (see here and here).
Current stage of the case in criminal procedure
As a result of its investigation, the Special Prosecution Office filed an indictment on 29 June 2017 against three defendants for the crime of abuse of official position and authorisation under Article 353, Paragraph 5, with regard to Article 22, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code.
On 29 June 2017, the SPO submitted a proposal for detention measures against two of the defendants, which was later rejected as unfounded. Instead, precautionary measures were issued against two defendants, who were required to report periodically to the authorities.
In the period between 15 March 2018 and 15 September 2018, the trial proceeded to the presentation of evidence, and the prosecution, the defendants and the defence gave statements.
In the period between 15 September 2018 and 15 March 2019, a total of six hearings were held and three hearings were postponed. At a hearing on 29 October 2018, the trial started again from the beginning owing to a postponement of longer than 90 days.
On 20 January 2020, a hearing in the Tenderi case was postponed because of a newly scheduled hearing in the TNT case. A judge in the Tenderi case was part of the trial chamber in both cases and the hearings were scheduled one after another, with only a half-hour difference. The next trial was scheduled for 24 February 2020. Previous trials in the Tenderi case were also postponed because of hearings in other cases.
One obstacle was the forced restart of the trial. At a hearing on 29 October 2018, the trial had to start again from the beginning because of a postponement of longer than 90 days.
A second obstacle arose because of the involvement of a judge in hearings for different cases. On 20 January 2020, a hearing in the Tenderi case was postponed because of a newly scheduled hearing in the TNT case. A judge in the Tenderi case was part of the trial chamber in both cases and the hearings were scheduled only half an hour apart. The next trial was scheduled for 24 February 2020. Previous trials in the Tenderi case were also postponed because of hearings in other cases.
Resolution of the case
The trail is still ongoing.
Applicable minimum and maximum penalty in the highest band for the actual offence in the case
For abuse of official position and authorisation (Article 353 of the Criminal Code) prison for at least five years (paragraph 5)
Charges pressed by the prosecutor in the actual case
On 29 June 2017, the Special Prosecution Office filed an indictment charging three defendants with abuse of official position and authorisation under Article 353 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of North Macedonia.
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