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Appellate court takes up sentencing appeal in Divo Naselje case

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Skopje Court of Appeals agreed to consider whether the sentences for 33 people – all sentenced to jail over their role in a deadly 2015 terrorist act in the Kumanovo area, Divo Naselje – should be overturned.

On Thursday and Friday, the justices will hear appeals filed by defense lawyers objecting the lower court’s decision ordering that seven defendants’ sentence of life in prison, 13 defendants’ sentence of 40 years in prison, six defendants’ sentence of 20 years…in the so-called Divo Naselje crimes.

Defense wants the 2017 lower court’s sentencing be thrown out.

A deadly shooting spree that took place on 9-10 May 2015 left eight members of Macedonian special police units dead. As many as 37 police officers were injured in the two-day shootout in Kumanovo’s outskirts four years ago.

Ten of the militants were killed, whilst the rest were arrested and charged with terrorism-related charges by the Macedonian authorities. The bodies of the militants were found at the site. The autopsy found that nine of the terrorists were Kosovo Albanians and one Macedonian citizen.

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Macedonia

Arrest warrant issued for Spasov

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Former special police officer Igor Spasov, who has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for murdering Martin Neskoski, is wanted on recall to prison after going missing.

Macedonian police issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday after he failed to show up to begin his sentence. The arrest warrant has been published on the web-site of the Ministry of Interior.

The former member of special police force vanished after ignoring summons to serve time after he was sentenced in prison on murder charges.

The man had probably fled justice to avoid serving a 14-year jail sentence for a murder conviction. He was to report to Idrizovo correctional facility on 18 October.

The murder took place during a late-night celebration of VMRO-DPMNE’s victory in 2011 parliamentary elections.

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Macedonia

Matthew Palmer due in Skopje today

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The US Secretary of State’s Special Representative for the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, will visit North Macedonia on Tuesday.

Special Representative Palmer is scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.

The two are expected to discuss the bilateral relations between North Macedonia and the United States, including the US support for the country’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic community. They will exchange views on the situation in the country and the region.

In late August, the U.S. State Department appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary Palmer as special envoy for the Western Balkans with a mandate to help integrate the region into Western institutions.

US Secretary of State has appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Palmer  as his Special Representative for the Western Balkans.  In this role, Palmer will lead our efforts to strengthen U.S. diplomatic engagement in support of peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and focus on integration of the Western Balkan countries into Western institutions.

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Macedonia

Zaev: We can give argument to reassure Macron

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We can give arguments to reassure President Macron that “methodology prior to enlargement” proposal could be converted into “enlargement along with change in methodology”, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev wrote on his Facebook page, alluding to France’s Emmanuel Macron’s initiative for new enlargement methodology.

“We are not only a strategic interest, we are Europe. It means we will become a member of the European Union once we wrap up the comprehensive reform at home. The pre-accession process and closure of chapters will help us make it happen. The accession negotiations will help us wrap up domestic reform,” Zaev wrote on his Facebook page.

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