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North Macedonian diplomat arrested on Armenia’s request

6 September 2021
The flag of North Macedonia.

A diplomat currently assigned to the OSCE Mission to Vienna has been arrested in Serbia at Armenia’s request for allegedly assisting a fugitive to flee Armenia.

Mile Milenkoski was reportedly detained by Serbian authorities on 27 August as he attempted to cross into Northern Macedonia from Serbia via the Preševo checkpoint. 

Media in North Macedonia have reported that Milenkoski was accused of helping a former Armenian official accused of embezzlement to flee Armenia. However, Gor Abrahamyan, an adviser to the General Prosecutor of Armenia, denied that a former Armenian official was involved in the case. 

Commenting on the arrest, Abrahamyan told Hetq that ‘a citizen of North Macedonia helped another citizen of Northern Macedonia to flee Armenia’. 

Abrahamyan stated that the arrested man, along with three other citizens of North Macedonia, one Bulgarian, and one Ukrainian, used a private plane to fly out a former employee of a company working on the construction of the North-South motorway.

Branislav Dimitrijevikj, who was working for the multinational consortium working on the motorway, had agreed to remain in Armenia until criminal proceedings against him concluded after he was charged with embezzlement in 2019.

The North Macedonian Foreign Ministry confirmed that Milenkoski was arrested ‘on the basis of an international arrest warrant for a crime he is accused of committing during his private trip abroad’. The ministry added that they had suspended him until the case was resolved.

Abrahamyan told Hetq that Milenkoski would be extradited to Armenia once the proper documentation was sent to Northern Macedonia. 

A $1.5 billion programme to improve the road connections between the north and south of Armenia came to the attention of the country’s law enforcement agencies after the 2018 revolution. As a result of a corruption investigation, dozens of people have so far been charged.

Correction: We erroneously referred to Mile Milenkoski as 'the Deputy Head of the Northern Macedonia Mission to the OSCE', he was no longer in that position. We regret the error.

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