Former Prime Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski said that he fled to Hungary to avoid the two-year prison sentence in his home country after he received the threat that he would be killed in jail, reported Radio Liberty.
In an interview with the Macedonian Sitel TV channel on February 2, Gruevski said that he initially intended to go to jail despite “the crazy judgments with no legal basis”.
“But... I received information that someone was planning my assassination in prison,” the ex-prime minister said.
Gruevski said that he received information from "people in prison who were well informed ".
“I cannot say publicly who is behind this plot because I cannot prove it at the moment. I decided to leave Macedonia afterwards,” he said.
Earlier, Gruevski had already stated that he received death threats in Macedonia. This statement was accepted by the government of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev with skepticism. Macedonian authorities denied that Gruevski was a victim of political persecution.
Nikola Gruevsky, who has strong ties to Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, fled to Budapest in November 2018 after being convicted on corruption charges in Macedonia and sentenced to two years in prison. Budapest granted Gruevski asylum from what it called "political persecution" in Macedonia.
Skopje, which has issued an international warrant for his arrest, has since charged Gruevski with other corruption-related offenses.
Gruevsky served as prime minister of Macedonia from 2006 to 2016.