A Budapest court has rejected an extradition request from North Macedonia for its former prime minister, Nikola Gruevski.

Gruevski fled North Macedonia in November to avoid a two-year prison term for corruption and was later granted asylum by Hungary.

Budapest’s Capital City Court said Thursday that the extradition request could not be granted since by law people given asylum cannot be extradited to the country they fled from.

Gruevski, who was in office for a decade until 2016, is an ally of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and arrived in Hungary after travelling through several Balkan countries in Hungarian diplomatic vehicles and escorted by Hungarian diplomats.

Earlier this month, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told lawmakers he meets regularly in his office with Gruevski to consult on West Balkan affairs.

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