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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

SJO chief Katica Janeva steps down

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The Head of Public Prosecutor’s Office, special public prosecutor Katica Janeva tendered her resignation Monday but warned it will come into effect as soon as political parties reach a deal on new law and pick her successor.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office for Prosecuting Criminal Offences Related to and Arising from the Content of the Illegally Intercepted Communication was established with the Law, adopted by the Parliament in September 2015 and with the appointment of Katica Janeva as the head of this Public Prosecutor’s Office.

“Once I was elected a Head of Public Prosecutor’s Office with a consensus of all political parties, I held out a promise to myself and to all citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia that I will sincerely execute my duties in the interest of the rule of law and the fight against organized crime and corruption,” the outgoing head of SJO says in her letter of resignation.

“I undertook this work in extremely difficult circumstances and fully aware of the task I was assigned to. I was honored to serve the country at the helm of a highly professional prosecutor team, an investigative team, staffers who do their job without any diligence,” Janeva said.

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Macedonia

Turkey’s FM Cavusoglu arrives in Skopje for two-day visit

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Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrived in Skopje on Monday for a two-day official visit at an invitation of his Macedonian counterpart Nikola Dimitrov.

The two ministers are expected to discuss the overall bilateral relations between Turkey and North Macedonia, including modes of strengthening the cooperation in many fields of joint interest.

In the course of the visit of Turkey’s top diplomat, the Skopje-based Ministry of Foreign Affairs will officially put into operation a technical equipment for digitalization of archival material – archival digitalization – a project supported by Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The project was funded by the Turkish Co-operation and Coordination Agency, TIKA.

FM Cavusoglu will also meet with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, and Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Bujar Osmani.

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Macedonia

Bekteshi sets off for Geneva

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Economy Minister Kreshnik Bekteshi spearheads North Macedonia’s delegation to the second Trade Policy Review at the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in Geneva.

North Macedonia has been a member of the WTO since 2003.

While in Geneva, Minister Bekteshi is engaged in a busy schedule of bilateral meetings with Roberto Azevedo, Director General of the World Trade Organization, Isabelle Durant, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and Ambassador Dagfinn Sorli, Norway’s Permanent Representative to the WTO and EFTA.

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