World

Macedonia ex-counterintelligence chief's passport seized

A court in Macedonia's capital has banned a former counterintelligence chief from leaving the country and ordered his passport confiscated in connection with a wiretapping scandal.

A special prosecutor has charged Saso Mijalkov, a close relative of former conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, with illegally wiretapping more than 5,800 phones from 2008 to 2015.

The scandal, which broke in 2015, precipitated a political crisis and, eventually, led to early elections in December 2016 that ended the 10-year reign of Gruevski's conservative VMRO-DPMNE party.

Prosecutor Katica Janeva has filed accusations of abuse of office and corruption against more than 100 people, including Gruevski and top officials of his party.

The court, so far, has ordered passports confiscated from 36 individuals, including two former conservative government members.