North Macedonia

Case study: a grassroots movement in support of whistleblowers

In 2015, Gjorgji Lazarevski and Zvonko Kostovski both worked at the Interior Ministry for Security and Counterintelligence of North Macedonia and found out and reported about corruption and illegal wiretapping of 20000 government officials, judges, journalists and others by then-Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

Both were fired from their workplaces, got false criminal charges and were imprisoned for a year. However, this disclosure led to mass protests against the corrupt Prime Minister, who resigned in 2016 and was later convicted of corruption and sentenced to imprisonment. But in November 2018 Gruevski fled the country to Hungary.

The charges against Gjorgji Lazarevski and Zvonko Kostovski were dropped and in December 2018; they were reinstated to their positions at the Ministry after a year-long campaign “Macedonia`s Forgotten Heroes”.

Case study: whistleblowers in the farming industry

Thanks to whistleblowers within Macedonia’s farming industry, investigative journalists learned that the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management demanded local companies pay to renovate one of its buildings – even though the state had already funded the work.

The alleged double-dipping scheme was first revealed by reporter Goran Lefkov of the Center for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) SCOOP(a Coalition member).

Other documents were delivered to SCOOP by a farmer, who received the demand personally from Ministry officials in Kocani. “I made a payment. To date no one has returned my money I paid for the renovation of the premises in Kocani,” said the farmer.