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Macedonian Police Lied Over Immigrant Deaths

30 April 2004 -- Macedonian police acknowledged today that the seven Pakistanis they killed two years ago were not suspected terrorists but were illegal immigrants.

Police spokeswoman Mirjana Konteska told reporters that the terrorist scenario was fabricated. She said six people, including three former police commanders, two special police officers, and a businessman, have been charged with murder.

The killings were carried out in March 2002 by special Macedonian police who claimed to have eliminated a terrorist group allegedly plotting to attack international embassies and representatives in Macedonia.

Konteska said the victims were in fact illegal immigrants who were lured into Macedonia by promises that they would be transferred to Western Europe.

A parliamentary committee today voted to lift the immunity of former Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski so that he too can be charged in connection with the killings.