The Macedonian Lustration Commission named 11 people as collaborators with the former police and state security agencies on Monday, under the newly adopted Lustration Law.The eleven alleged police informants are the same people who had been lustrated under the old law that was scrapped by the Constitutional Court, which ruled that 12 provisions of that law were unconstitutional.“We reviewed the cases that had previously been overturned by the Administrative Court. According to Article 40 of the Lustration Law those cases met the legal criteria and we ruled on them,” said Tome Adziev, the President of the Lustration Commission, on Monday.
According to Adziev, some of the 11 lustrated people are currently serving state officials, and some are former state officials.
One of them, Vladimir Milcin, the head of the Macedonian Open Society Foundation, published documents on Monday on a local internet portal to try to demonstrate to the commission that rather than collaborating with the ex-Yugoslavian secret police, he was actually being spied on by them.
“Here are the facts. Verify them,” Milcin wrote in his article.
He claims that it is obvious that he was a victim of the police and not a collaborator and announced that he will submit an appeal to the Administrative Court as soon as he sees the Commission decision.
Milcin published documents from his dossier that he obtained in year 2000 under the Law for Access and Insight of Personal Dossiers.
However, the new law did not end disagreements that have dogged the work of the Commission since its inception.
Cedomir Damjanovski, a member of the commission, says that no one should be publicly named as an informant before the Administrative Court has considered their case.
“There should be a moratorium on the part of the new law that says that the names of the lustrated should be published only through an executive decision [of the Commission], but without a court ruling. I also asked for the principle of the presumption of innocence to be respected”, Damjanovski said.
The new law stipulates that the names and the dossiers of former police informants should be published online, and that all citizens have a right to access the details of those dossiers.
The Constitutional Court scrapped the previous law in late March, saying that it was unconstitutional to oblige people from professions including the clergy, journalists, NGO activists and others, to swear that they had never collaborated with the secret police during the Communist period or afterwards.
There are no longer any specified professions that have to be lustrated, but people are given the right to initiate the lustration process, if they suspect someone of having collaborated with the police.
The Court also said that the law can only apply for the period until 1991, when ex-Yugoslavia fell apart.
However, the new law, like the old, still sets the date for lustration until 2006, which goes against the Constitutional Court’s ruling.
An appeal contesting the new lustration law has been filed again in the Constitutional Court, but the court is currently in recess and will probably discuss the law in September. By then the Commission is expected to lustrate more police informants.