08.14.21

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An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part IX: “There Are Indications of a Violation of the Law…”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series index:

  1. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part I: A New EPO Balkan Affair?
  2. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part II: A Mysterious Fist-Bumping Masquerade in Skopje
  3. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part III: A Longtime Associate of the Doyen
  4. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part IV: A Party Political Animal
  5. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part V: Sharing Out the Spoils of Public Office
  6. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part VI: A Learned Legal Luminary
  7. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part VII: An Academic Institution With a Political Mission
  8. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part VIII: An Inspector Calls
  9. You are here ☞ “There Are Indications of a Violation of the Law…”

Irregularities-Tetovo
On 22 January 2020, the Macedonian media reported that the public prosecutor in Tetovo had opened an investigation into alleged irregularities in the appointment of associate professors in the Faculty of Law.

Summary: Early last year some of the enablers of EPO Presidents Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos got in serious trouble in their home country; we look closely at the details

In the last part we saw how Gjorgji Ilievski from the State Education Inspectorate of North Macedonia uncovered and reported irregularities relating to academic promotions at the State University of Tetova (SUT). These irregularities came to light in the course of a routine inspection carried out at the Faculty of Law in April 2019.

“These irregularities came to light in the course of a routine inspection carried out at the Faculty of Law in April 2019.”Because the beneficiaries of these promotions were high-ranking DUI functionaries – two of them cabinet ministers – attempts were made to “persuade” Ilievski to cover up the affair.

Ilievski stuck to his guns and paid the price in the form of harassment and a trumped-up disciplinary procedure which led to a demotion. But he was supported in his struggle by the media in North Macedonia which gave the case extensive coverage.

Quite unintentionally, Ilievski became an “overnight public hero and a role model” and by the end of 2019 the tide was beginning to turn in his favour.

“Quite unintentionally, Ilievski became an “overnight public hero and a role model” and by the end of 2019 the tide was beginning to turn in his favour.”In an interview which he gave on Macedonian television in December 2019, Ilievski explained how the three DUI functionaries – Arben Ademi, Agim Nuhiu and Safet Emruli – had provided teaching services against payment in breach of the law. There would have been no problem if they had provided such services on a pro bono basis – as some public officials choose to do – but in this case, all three officials involved maintained employment contracts with the university.

Despite the fact that their academic teaching positions had been rendered “dormant” by their appointments as public officials, they continued to accept remuneration for their teaching services and, in addition to this, they also enjoyed promotions to senior academic positions.

“Despite the fact that their academic teaching positions had been rendered “dormant” by their appointments as public officials, they continued to accept remuneration for their teaching services and, in addition to this, they also enjoyed promotions to senior academic positions.”By December 2019 it was known that Ademi, Nuhiu and Emruli had agreed to reimburse the University for the remuneration which they had received in return for their teaching services. Ilievski argued that by agreeing to such reimbursement, the DUI officials had effectively admitted their guilt and abuse of procedures for the purpose of improperly obtaining academic promotion.

Georgi-Ilievski-Macedonian-TV
Georgi Ilievski being interviewed on Macedonian TV in December 2019.

Soon afterwards, on 22 January 2020 [PDF], Fakulteti.mk – a portal which covers issues relating to higher education in North Macedonia – reported that the public prosecutor in Tetovo had opened an investigation into Ademi, Nuhiu and Emruli. The charges related to abuse of official position and authority under Article 33 of the Criminal Code.

According to a report issued by the Ombudsman’s office: “…we believe that there are indications of a violation of the law because the appointed professors illegally entered into contracts for intellectual services for which they are believed to have received funds, contrary to Article 133, paragraph 14 of the Law on Higher Education”.

“Not long after Ademi had departed from his ministerial position, Emruli submitted his resignation as Director of the SOIP, as reported in the Albanian language press in North Macedonia on 22 October 2020.”The public prosecutor in Tetovo, Dragoslava Popovska, confirmed that an investigation into the alleged irregularities had been opened. At that point in time the procedure was in the preliminary investigation phase and the current status is unknown.

What is known is that Ademi left the Ministry for Education in August 2020 and was replaced by Mila Carovska of the social-democratic SDSM.

No official explanation was given for Ademi’s departure, but it took place in the context of the formation of a new government following the July 2020 general election and an announcement about the plans of the incoming administration to reduce the overall number of ministers.

According to Ademi’s personal website (in Albanian) he is currently working as an assistant professor (“Docent“) at the Faculty of Law of the State University of Tetovo.

“As we shall see in the next part, there are reasons to suspect that Emruli ended up being sacrificed for the “greater good” of the DUI and one of its more senior officials.”Not long after Ademi had departed from his ministerial position, Emruli submitted his resignation as Director of the SOIP, as reported in the Albanian language press in North Macedonia on 22 October 2020.

As we shall see in the next part, there are reasons to suspect that Emruli ended up being sacrificed for the “greater good” of the DUI and one of its more senior officials.

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