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The court in Skopje on Friday heard the closing arguments in the trial of the former Police Minister, Ljube Boskoski. The verdict is expected next week.
Boskoski's party says he is being framed by the government | Photo by: OM
On the last day of the trial, Danco Nakov, one of Boskoski’s lawyers, said the prosecution case was “confusing” and “inexact” and should be thrown out.
Police arrested Boskoski one day after the June 5 general election in which his opposition rightist United for Macedonia party did not win a single seat.
He was charged with taking cash payments from undisclosed donors and with abusing his office as party head. The police said they found €100,000 in cash during his spectacular arrest in a Skopje restaurant, which took place in front of cameras.
The prosecution on Friday maintained that the evidence presented in court was enough to prove Boskoski's guilt on all counts.
The key testimony, given by a protected witness for the prosecution, took place on Wednesday. The witness testified via a conference video call in a courtroom where media were not allowed.
The defence did not accept the testimony, saying he might well have been instructed what to say and they had no way of checking his assertions.
Nakov told the court on Friday that he suspected the key protected witness was a police agent, and that the €100,000 that he had given to Boskoski on the day of his arrest came from the state budget, used in order to frame his client.
Boskoski’s party claims that he is being framed for his harsh criticism of the government. Boskoski, who was once a member of Nikola Gruevski's ruling VMRO DPMNE party, during the election campaign accused Gruevski of institutionalizing crime and corruption in the country.
In the final days of the campaign, Boskoski accused the Prime Minister of secretly purchasing a yacht in Croatia while trying to portray himself as a humble politician.
Boskoski’s whife, Violeta, in an interview this week for Fokus, a daily, said she suspects the key witness was a former family friend who framed Boskoski in collaboration with the police.
Meanwhile, a parliamentary group tasked with investigating whether the police broke the law while eavesdropping on Boskoski prior to his arrest has not been able to start work.
This is because the ruling party has postponed the appointment of its representative to the group, made up of three parliamentarians.
“This delay makes me doubt their [the ruling party's] honest intentions to allow the group to function,” the group’s head, the opposition legislator Tito Petkovski, said on Thursday.
Boskoski was a police minister from 2001 to 2002 at the time of the short-lived Macedonian conflict between the security forces and ethnic Albanian insurgents.
He was later acquitted of war crimes before the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia, ICTY.
Boskoski's friendship with Gruevski ended in 2009 when VMRO DPMNE failed to back his ambition to becoming president of the republic in the elections that year.
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