Macedonian Opposition Hurls New Accusations at Government, Protesters Gather

Southeast Europe | May 5, 2015, Tuesday // 22:06|  views

Protestors confront a cordon of special police forces who are guarding the government building during an anti-government protest in Skopje, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 05 May 2015. Photo: EPA

The political tensions in Macedonia remain heightened as the opposition SDSM leader Zoran Zaev hurled fresh accusations against the government.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Zaev stated that he will expose facts proving that the state leadership and the interior ministry plotted in the cover-up of a 2011 police killing.

The revelations concerned the murder of 21-year-old Martin Neskovski, who was killed by a policeman in Skopje while celebrating the victory of the VMRO-DPMNE at the 2011 early elections.

Neskovski was beaten to death by a member of the special police forces, with the victim's friends claiming it was a brutal and unprovoked attack, while the policeman said it was an accident.

Neither Igor Spasov, the perpetrator of the crime, nor other policemen with him at the time, reported the incident and Spasov had no idea that the boy was badly injured after beating him.

Spasov was later sentenced to imprisonment for fourteen years for the murder, the Macedonian Information Agency (MIA) reports.

Macedonian Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska dismissed the accusations of Zaev and in turn accused him of manipulating the facts for his political gains.

Jankuloska refused to resign, as had been requested by the opposition leader, saying that the recordings of Zaev proved that there was no cover-up of the case, but a genuine confusion.

While Jankuloska was speaking, about a thousand protesters gathered in front of the government building, jumping over the fence and approaching the entrance, which was guarded by a small police unit.

Earlier on Tuesday, Zaev said that he was in the possession of wiretapped conversations, which featured Jankuloska, her spokesman, UBK State Security chief, VMRO-DPMNE official and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

This is the latest in a series of audio files published by Zaev, who claims he received from insiders in the UBK State Security service.

The opposition leader announced the content of the material he will unveil in the final days before May 17, when he called for a large protest.

The new tapes will concern the massacre of five ethnic Macedonians by a group of ethnic Albanian Islamists in 2012, the 2013 death of political magazine editor and the negotiations with Greece on resolving the dispute on the country's name.

Zaev once again demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Gruevski as part of a political settlement to the wiretapping scandal.

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Tags: macedonia, opposition, government, resignation, SDSM, zoran zaev, police, killing, VMRO-DPMNE, Gordana Jankuloska, recording, audio, wiretapping, protest, tape, Albania, greece


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