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Thousands protest Macedonian wiretap scandal

Friday, April 15, 2016 - 01:10

For the third night, thousands protest in Macedonia's capital over the president's decision to pardon 56 officials suspected of involvement in a wiretap scandal. Some protesters jostled with police and threw stones at them. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Demonstrators held a third night of protests in the capital Skopje on Thursday (April 14) night over President Gjorge Ivanov's decision to pardon 56 top political figures suspected of being involved in a wiretap operation. Pro-opposition protesters, holding signs saying "No justice, no peace", briefly jostled with police blocking their way and threw stones at them, but it was calmer than on Wednesday night when one of Ivanov's offices was ransacked. The Opposition has called for a mass protest on Friday. Britain's Europe Minister David Lidington said on Thursday that Ivanov's pardon was a "matter of considerable concern" and he urged him "to find a way to reverse the decision". Macedonia, a poor Balkan country of two million people on the front line of Europe's refugee crisis, has been in turmoil since opposition Social Democratic leader Zoran Zaev accused Gruevski and his counter-intelligence chief, Saso Mijalkov, in February last year of orchestrating the wiretapping of more than 20,000 people. The opposition said the phone-taps exposed government control over journalists, judges, public sector recruitment and the manipulation of elections in Macedonia, which aspires to join both the EU and NATO. Under an EU-brokered deal reached last year to try to end the crisis, a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate the wiretap revelations and Gruevski agreed to an early election, expected in June. Thousands continue protesting in Macedonia over the president's decision to pardon 56 officials suspected of involvement in a wiretap scandal. Some protesters jostled with police who blocked their way and throw stones at them. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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Thousands protest Macedonian wiretap scandal

Friday, April 15, 2016 - 01:10