(Updates with police statement in paragraph six)
ATHENS, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Two Macedonian nationals wanted
by Interpol have been arrested in Greece over their alleged
involvement in a wiretap scandal that brought down Macedonia's
government, a police official said on Thursday.
Two years of political turmoil were triggered in 2015 after
opposition parties accused then prime minister Nikola Gruevski
and his counter-intelligence chief of orchestrating the
wiretapping of more than 20,000 people.
The EU, which Macedonia aspires to join, was forced to
broker an agreement in which parties agreed to hold early
elections and establish the office of a special prosecutor to
investigate the content of the wiretaps.
A new government was formed in May.
The two Macedonians, aged 51 and 35, are accused of
destroying machines used in wiretapping, a police official said
on condition of anonymity.
They were arrested on Wednesday at the airport in the
northern Greek city of Thessaloniki carrying fake Bulgarian
passports, the official said. Greek police said the men were
also accused of setting up a criminal gang to carry out
They are due to appear before a prosecutor on Thursday.
In June, Macedonia's special prosecutor filed charges
against 94 people, including former high government officials,
over their involvement in alleged crimes revealed in tapes that
emerged during the surveillance scandal.
(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by John Stonestreet and
First Published: 2017-10-19 15:24:21
Updated 2017-10-19 18:19:53
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