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Trial in Skopje Mass Murder Case Postponed

December 26, 2012

A court in Skopje has delayed the start of a trial of six people charged with the murder of five men in April to January.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic, Balkan Insight, 21.12.2012

 

The criminal court in Skopje

The main hearing in the case, known as “Monster”, was postponed to January 9, after the court on Thursday accepted the defence lawyers’ request for more time to study the charges.

The prosecution has pressed terrorism charges against six persons suspected of having organized and committed the gruesome murder.

Two of the defendants, Alil Demiri and Afrim Ismailovic, remain at large. Agim Ismailovic, Fejzi Aziri, Rami Sejdi and Haki Aziri appeared in court.

According to the charges, Alil Demiri and Afrim and Agim Ismailovic committed the murders with automatic rifles, while the others provided logistical support.

The bodies of Filip Slavkovski, Aleksandar Nakjevski, Cvetanco Acevski and Kire Trickovski, all aged between 18 and 20, were discovered on April 12.

The bodies had been lined up and appeared to have been executed. The body of 45-year-old Borce Stevkovski was found a short distance away from the rest.

News of the murder raised ethnic tensions, after groups of ethnic Macedonians staged protests, in some cases turning violent, blaming the killings on members of the country’s large Albanian minority community.

In May, police arrested 20, allegedly radicalised, Muslims, including four of the defendants, in an operation in several villages around the capital.

The police maintain that the murder was a terrorist act committed in order to provoke ethnic turbulence.

In 2001 Macedonia suffered a short but violent conflict between government forces and ethnic Albanian rebels, which ended with the signing of the Ohrid peace Accord that granted more rights to Albanians.

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