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Macedonia Says Fugitive Minister Escaped To Croatia

8 May 2004 -- Macedonian Interior Minister Hari Kostov says former Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski, suspected in the deaths of seven immigrants, has fled to Croatia.

Boskovski, a Croatian citizen, dropped out of sight last week after authorities issued an arrest warrant charging him with
complicity in the murder of six Pakistanis and an Indian national.

Police say the killings in March 2002 were set up to show the world that Macedonia was doing its part in the U.S.-led war on terrorism.

Boskovski says he is the victim of a "dirty ploy" to eliminate him from the political scene.

Croatian police spokesman Zlatko Mehun said Boskovski cannot be extradited to Macedonia. He said Croatian law permits the arrest and trial of Croatian citizens only if Croatia controls the case.