The United States Embassy to North Macedonia has said the prison sentence for former Criminal Court president Vladimir Panchevski is “a positive step forward”.
“The Veles Basic Court announcement that former Skopje Criminal Court President Vladimir Panchevski was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for misusing ACCMIS is a positive step forward in seeking accountability for those accused of undermining judicial independence,” tweeted the US Embassy.
The Veles Court sentenced Panchevski for manipulation with the Automated Court Case Management Information System (ACCMIS). According to the indictment, in the period between Jan. 23, 2013 and Sept. 14, 2016, Panchevski gave oral orders to employees with access to the system to distribute concrete cases personally to the judges he had handpicked.
Judge ValentinaGeorgievska handed down the verdict in an unprecedented process in the Macedonian judiciary, at a hearing that lasted more than ten hours and ended late that night. Interestingly, it was also unusual for the verdict to be announced the same night, but without the presence of a prosecutor.