Macedonian prosecutors charge opposition leader for alleged mass wiretapping

Macedonian prosecutors have filed charges against the country's main opposition leader and former intelligence officials for alleged wiretapping following a scandal that has poisoned politics in the small Balkan country for months.

Zoran Zaev is accused of "violence against the representatives of the highest state institutions." If convicted, he faces a minimum 4-year prison sentence.

The office of the prosecutor for organized crime and corruption also charged Macedonia's former intelligence chief, his wife and a former employee with espionage and unauthorized wiretapping late Thursday.

Zaev denies wrongdoing. He has accused conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski of ordering the illegal wiretapping of 20,000 people, including police and judges. Gruevski rejects the allegations.

A senior judicial council will decide whether and when the five should stand trial.