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News 13 Nov 17

Macedonia Sacks Police For Inaction in Parliament Rampage

Macedonia has sacked 11 police officers, including senior security chiefs, for their failure to stop the April 27 mob assault on parliament that injured some 100 people, including MPs.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
BIRN
Skopje
Macedonia's current Prime Minister Zoran Zaev [centre] was hurt during the rampage. Photo: Anadolu

Macedonia has sacked 11 police officers over their role in the April 27 mob assault on parliament that left dozens of MPs injured.

Most were working in the police's so-called Directorate Six, a body tasked with securing the safety of VIPs and important institutions.

They were sacked, in most cases, for taking no action when a group of supporters of the former ruling VMRO DPMNE party stormed the parliament and attacked people.

The Interior Ministry on Monday confirmed that it already signed the layoffs on Friday.

The former chief of parliament's security and the former chief of security of the former parliamentary speaker, Trajko Veljanovski, are among those sacked, the ministry said.

According to the Ministry, the officers failed to stop two VMRO DPMNE MPs, Krsto Mukoski and Saso Vasilevski, from opening parliament’s main gate to the mob who then went on a rampage.

Published security video footage showed the two MPs opening the gates and seemingly pointing the crowd towards the room where most of the then opposition MPs were located.

The footage showed some of the security personnel in the near vicinity to the two MPs, and doing nothing to prevent them from opening the gates.

The attack began on April 27, only minutes after parliament had elected an ethnic Albanian, Talat Xaferi, as its new speaker.

As an opposition candidate, his election as speaker paved the way for the election of a new Social Democrat-led government [which took office in May].

Supporters of the outgoing VMRO DPMNE party-led government then broke into the building in Skopje, injuring some 100 people. The Social Democrat leader and current Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev, was among the injured.

The Interior Ministry on Monday said it had also sacked two employees in the secret police, who, according to the police’s internal investigation, shortly after the rampage, stole the hard disks with the parliamentary security videos, not knowing that there was a remote back-up, which the police then found and used.

Police are currently still investigating the conduct of an additional 60 police officers during the rampage.

The Organized Crime Prosecution has opened an investigation that will try to determine whether the attack was a spontaneous event, as VMRO DPMNE claims, or a pre-meditated attack whose possible aims included murder, as the now ruling Social Democrats suspect.

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