Begin of Retrial for Kumanovo’s May 2015 Events Postponed

Time: 1: 35 p.m. CEST

Photo, Video, Text by Aleksandra Dukovska

Police secure court complex in Skopje on May 31, 2016.

Skopje I Macedonia: The start of the retrial in the events of Kumanovo’s neighborhood “Divo Naselje” of May 9-10, 2015 was postponed for the next week on June 6 after the lawyers of the defendants could not enter the courtroom. The postponement happened, even though the security measures were increased as always in this case, where the prosecution charges defendants for “terrorism.”

A police helicopter overflew the area and the court building since the morning, while police brought 37 defendants in the building of the Supreme Court, where the retrial was set to begin. But, regardless the security measures, media crews gathered at the Court since the morning faced another situation where the unresolved space issue in the courtroom postponed the case, this time for a week.

The first trial of the case started on February 9, 2016, when the defendants explained their version of the shootings and exchange of fires in Kumanovo on May 9, 2015. At that time, the defendants, mostly Albanians of Kosovo and Macedonia, denied the charges.

On November 4, 2015, the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime and Corruption submitted charges against 37 persons to the Primary Court Skopje 1 in Skopje. Based on Kumanovo’s May 9-10, 2015 evidences, “the defendants are charged for committing crimes, ‘Terrorist organization.’ Later, the Prosecution connects the attack of a police station in Goshince village on April 21, 2015 and May events in Kumanovo, which resulted into shootings between armed group and special police forces after police started search of a house in Kumanovo’s neighborhood “Tode Mendol,” (local name) “Divo Naselje.”

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