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Macedonia

Torture trial on hold, jury selection halts two-year hearings

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Torture trial has been delayed due to illness of judge Aleksandra Risteska, her colleague Lenka Davitkova said on Wednesday.

Asked by prosecutor Ljubomir Lape, after the hearing, if there were any  changes in the composition of the jury, a court employee said yes. This means that the trial, following two years of hearings, has to start all over again. All the witnesses in the case will be cross-examined once again.

In 2016, the Special Prosecutor’s Office launched a probe against a former intelligence chief and several officers for allegedly using excessive power while arresting Ljube Boskoski, a government critic and ex-interior minister.

The former head of intelligence services, Sasho MIjalkov, was accused of torturing former minister Ljube Boskoski, following the June 2011 general elections. The special prosecutors allege that the then-director of Security and Counterintelligence Services (UBK) had ordered unscrupulous brutality of police forces during the arrest of a political opponent. Police officers carrying out the arrest were instructed by their superiors to “use excessive force and intimidation to humiliate Boskoski, even though he did not put up any resistance,” the indictment alleges.

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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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