Wednesday 17 July 2013

Update on Kuzman Case

It seems that earlier speculation about the case of Macedonian archeologist Pasko Kuzman were wrong. The man is now under house arrest writes the local newspaper Vest.  The Interior Ministry issued a statement shortly after the morning arrest of Kuzman clarifying that the matter under investigation is the  illegal issue of archaeological permits. These documents concerned a site along the road from the Veles Lake to Katlanovo and other on the so-called Drama Hill (Dramski Rid) near Delcevo. The issue of permits for these two sites was not in the remit of Kuzman's department, but another. Additional charges involve wasted public money, the beginning of illegally-authorised work led to unjustified expenditure of money on the police guarding the two sites, at Kuzman’s request. The damage is 1.200.000 denars, or 20,000 Euros, money that the police spent on securing these two sites. This is the nature of the charges against Kuzman. "There are no charges against Kuzman for smuggling archaeological items as it was speculated".

 The matter came to light when papers were found on the desk of Marija Pujaz (the adviser for security of archaeological sites) so the Public Prosecutor asked the Ministry of the Interior to detain the people allegedly involved. Also implicated are Zvonimir Nikolovski (an inspector in the Office) and Ilce Bojcevski, Director in the Directorate for Protection of Cultural Heritage, who allegedly instigated Kuzman, is already in custody in the artefact smuggling case.

Meanwhile, according to some Macedonian portals, Kuzman's arrest is speculated to have been politically motivated because he would not give permission for the sale of some land to an influential  Indian businessman.

'Police arested archeologist Pasko Kuzman for abuse of power (update)', Scoop CIJ macedonia, 15 July, 2013

Benjamin Arifi, 'Arrestohet Pasko Kuzman',  Alsat-M

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