Macedonia’s fugitive former prime minister Nikola Gruevski has fled his country en route to Hungary through Serbia before an international arrest warrant was issued for him, Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic said.
Gruevski entered Serbia from Montenegro through Gostun border crossing on November 11 at 22:27 CET and then entered Hungary through Horgos crossing on the Serbian border on November 12, Vucic said in a video file posted on the YouTube channel of Serbian private broadcaster Happy TV late on Monday.
The former Macedonian prime minister entered Albania from his country on November 10 accompanied by two persons of Hungarian nationality and then entered Montenegro through Bozo crossing, Vucic said.
“On November 13, at 19:35 CET, an international arrest warrant issued by Macedonia was received from Interpol. It would have been illegal to arrest Gruevski before that while he was passing through our territory,” Vucic said.
On November 12, Macedonia’s interior ministry said it was searching for Gruevski on an arrest warrant after he failed to report to prison to start serving a jail sentence. In late October, the criminal court in Skopje ordered Gruevski to present himself at prison by November 8 in order to serve a two-year jail sentence for his involvement in a corruption scheme in 2012.
Hungary has not helped Gruevski flee Macedonia, the Hungarian prime minister’s office said on Friday, denying reports of alleged Hungarian involvement. Nikola Gruevski is in Hungary in accordance with the legal provisions concerning asylum procedures, the Hungarian PM’s office noted, adding that the immigration and asylum office is conducting the asylum process in accordance with domestic and international law.
In May, the criminal court in Skopje sentenced Gruevski to two years in prison for unlawfully influencing the decision of interior ministry officials to purchase a Mercedes car at an estimated cost of 600,000 euro ($686,067). Last month, Skopje Appeal Court dismissed an appeal against the jail sentence lodged by Gruevski.
Gruevski led Macedonia’s government from 2006 to 2016.