Prosecutors have charged former Interior Minister Ljube Boskoski with assisting in the murder in 2001 of two people, naming three Serbian citizens as direct perpetrators.The indictment, filed before the Criminal Court in Skopje, included 15 people who helped in the planning, execution and cover-up of the double murder of Marjan Tushevski and Kiril Janev, which took place in 2001 at a restaurant in Skopje.
The prosecution said that the direct perpetrators were three Serbian citizens, named as Predrag Chubrilo-Peki, Milan Ilic and Milorad Kovachevic- Mishko, who are expected to be tried in absentia because they are not in Macedonia.
Two of the three accused Serbs are also sought by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY, for crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Former police minister Boskoski is accused of assisting in the killings because he allegedly knew Tushevski would be killed but did nothing to stop it.
The prosecutor used a statement of a protected witness, the driver of Orce Korunovski, later killed in Bulgaria.
He claimed that Korunovski had been in Boskoski’s house before the murder, and when he entered the car he told the driver that they had “received the green light from Boskoski to liquidate Tushevski, with whom they had a misunderstanding”.
The defence argues that the driver is not a credible witness.
“This statement in no way can be checked because Orce Korunovski is dead and Ljube Boskoski claims that Korunovski was never in his house.
“Hence, the protected witness cannot be a person who heard something; he must have seen or been part of a group. This court must disqualify the witness,” lawyer Vladimir Rakocevic said.
Besides Boskoski and the three Serbian citizens, the other defendants are current and former members of the police who, according to the prosecutor, covered up the murder and helped the Serb nationals leave Macedonia.
The court is expected to appoint a judge for the case and reveal a date for the trial. Boskoski is already serving a seven-year prison sentence for illegally financing his election campaign.
The defendants face prison terms of 10 years to life if found guilty of the 2001 murders.