Accessibility links

Breaking News

Macedonian Court Imprisons Seven For Attempted Murder Of Legislator


Macedonian police officers escort suspects facing trial in last year's assault on the parliament.

A Macedonian court on July 5 imprisoned seven men for the attempted murder of a legislator during an attack on parliament last year.

The seven were found guilty of trying to kill ethnic Albanian Ziadin Sela, leader of the small Alliance of Albanians party. He was hospitalized with severe injuries following the attack.

On April 27, 2017, some 100 nationalists, many of them masked, stormed the assembly in Skopje to protest against the choice of a new parliamentary speaker, an ethnic Albanian who had served as a defense minister in a previous conservative government.

Several other people, including legislators, journalists, and police officers, were also injured in the bloody rioting.

"The accused men tried to kill MP Ziadin Sela. The evidence against them was clear from the video material," said judge Slavica Andrevska.

"My life is ruined. I am done," said Nikola Vojmoinovski, who received a 13-year jail term along with two other defendants.

Four of the men received 10-year sentences. Some of the convicts wept when the verdicts were announced.

All the defendants had pleaded not guilty and defense attorneys said they would lodge an appeal.

In March, Macedonia's state prosecutor charged another 30 people over the April 2017 attack. Their trial is expected to start on August 22.

The 30 accused include five legislators from the opposition conservative VMRP-DPMNE party and senior Interior Ministry officials, who have been charged with "terrorist endangerment of the constitutional order and security."

If found guilty, they could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.

A man who pleaded guilty to having attacked another legislator in the violence was sentenced in March to four years in prison.

The attack on parliament, which was strongly condemned by the European Union and the international community, followed a long-running political crisis in the Balkan country.

A month after the violence, Social Democrat Zoran Zaev -- who was beaten up in the riots -- became prime minister.

With reporting by AP and AFP
XS
SM
MD
LG