Thursday, March 24, 2005

Macedonian ex-minister surrenders

The former Macedonian Interior Minister, Ljube Boskovski, has been detained at The Hague, where he has been indicted for war crimes.

The international tribunal indicted him and former bodyguard Johan Tarculovski on charges relating to the killing of seven ethnic Albanians in 2001.

Mr Boskovski left a jail in Croatia, where he had been held on separate charges since last August.

Mr Tarculovski appeared before the tribunal on Monday.

He was given another 30 days to enter a plea.

The killings took place in the village of Ljuboten near Skopje, during an ethnic Albanian rebellion in Macedonia in 2001.

When Mr Boskovski arrived at The Hague, he was transferred to the detention unit of the international tribunal, a statement said.

Macedonian prosecutors have also accused Mr Boskovski of luring seven Asian migrant workers into Macedonia in 2002 and stage-managing their murder to make it look as if they had been al-Qaeda members fighting for the ethnic Albanian cause.

Mr Boskovski, who has Macedonian and Croatian citizenship, was the last person to be indicted by the Hague tribunal.

The tribunal has until 2008 to finish trials, with a further deadline of 2010 to cover any outstanding appeals.

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