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Court In North Macedonia Orders Ex-Minister Detained At Home After Prison Beating

Former Macedonian Transport Minister Mile Janakieski (file photo)

A court in North Macedonia has ordered that former Transport Minister Mile Janakieski should be detained at home after he was slightly injured in a prison-yard assault by other inmates.

The Skopje court ruled late on February 22 that Janakieski should serve his 30-day pretrial detention at home after the ex-minister appealed his detention following the incident.

Janakieski, who is awaiting trial in connection with the violent storming of parliament in 2017, suffered minor injuries after being punched and kicked by inmates in the prison yard late on February 21.

Following the incident, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev forced Gjoko Kotevski, the head of Skopje’s main prison, to resign his position.

Spiro Ristovski, a former education and labor minister facing similar charges to Janakieski, was also reportedly attacked upon his arrival for pretrial detention and slightly injured. He remained in detention but was moved to another area of the facility.

Police in North Macedonia on February 20 arrested former parliament speaker Trajko Veljanovski and the two ex-ministers in the previous government, alleging they played roles in a violent invasion of the legislature in 2017. They have denied the accusations.

Veljanovski, who is a current lawmaker, cited his parliamentary immunity and was released.

The invasion of the parliament, which included masked men, resulted in dozens of journalists and lawmakers being injured, including then-opposition leader Zaev.

Prosecutors alleged that Veljanovski, Ristovski, and Janakieski prepared and implemented the parliament invasion plan with the intention of preventing the peaceful transfer of power.

Based on reporting by AP, dpa, and IBNA