Macedonia sued over wiretap claim by former presidential candidate

An opposition politician in Macedonia who ran in the presidential election last year has filed a lawsuit against the government, claiming he was the victim of a major illegal wiretapping operation.

Stevo Pendarovski, and four officials from his Social Democratic and allied left-wing parties, filed lawsuits Thursday, seeking action against the country's Interior Ministry and intelligence services.

Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev has accused conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski of being behind the alleged illegal wiretapping of more than 20,000 people, including politicians, judges, journalists, police, religious leaders and foreign ambassadors.

No charges have been filed by prosecutors, and Gruevski has rejected the claims.

Pendarovski says he has been monitored illegally since 2011, and urged the judiciary to "finally show the courage" required to pursue the allegations.