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Macedonian Opposition Leader Accuses Government Of Wiretapping

Leader of the opposition party SDSM Zoran Zaev at a press conference in Skopje on April 27, 2014

The leader of the opposition Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) has accused the government of tapping phones and eavesdropping on the conversations of thousands of people.

Zoran Zaev told a February 9 news conference he has evidence of the illegal wiretapping by the government and claimed during the last few years it affected at least 20,000 people.

Zaev said the director of the Secret Police Sasho Mijalkov and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski had authorized the phone-tapping.

Zaev said the SDSM had filed charges against Mijalkov and several members of the Secret Police.

On January 31, the government accused Zaev of espionage and detained five people in connection with that case.

Zaev's passport was also confiscated.

The government also claims Zaev attempted to blackmail the prime minister, telling Gruevski if a technical government was not formed the SDSM leader would publish incriminating material that showed the Gruevski was guilty of abuse of power.