Trial over 27 April case Continues with Defence’s opening Statement

The trial over the parliamentary incidents that took place on 27 April 2017 continued on Thursday. Lawyer Donco Nakov, in his opening statement, said it would be proven that his four clients, Ljuben Arnaudov, Vlado Jovanovski, Bogdan Ilievski and Abdulfeta Alimi, had carried out neither a general dangerous activity nor an act of violence. As he explained, the four defendants are not guilty and are charged with words said by them, i.e. they committed “terrorism with words, not with actions”. The protests to express support for the 33 suspects continued. “They are not terrorists. They are patriots who love their country. I don’t understand at all why they are being tried,” one protester said. Lawyer Saso Dukovski, who represents Mitko Cavkov, said that the prosecutors’ stand that the former Public Security Bureau Director didn’t act in line with his competences and thus endangered Macedonia’s security were not true. Judge Dobrila Kacarska, who is in charge of the case, has scheduled 37 hearings. MPs Johan Tarculovski, Krsto Mukoski and Saso Vasilevski are among the suspects in the case, too. Prosecutor Vilma Ruskoska, at the start of the court process the previous day, had said one of the suspects, Igor Jug, had been tasked with physically eliminating then-opposition leader Zoran Zaev.

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