Indicted In Kumanovo Case Start Giving Statements in Court

Time: 8:34 p.m. CEST

Special police members secure the building of Supreme Court on February 17, 2017.

A lawyer for Sami Ukshini gave a statement while the Court held a pause in Kumanovo trial in which Ukshini and 36 others face terrorism charges. Artene Edemi Iseini, gave statement on Albanian language and said that defendant has a right on presumption of innocence. State prosecution indicted 37 persons with terrorism charges after police raids in 2015. Because of large number of indicted, the retrial started last year with hearings at Supreme Court.

At the courtroom, Ukshini explained his views for the events prior May 9 and 10, 2015, when police entered into a neighborhood in Kumanovo to arrest members of armed group. Ukshini denied leading the group and said two other members organized the group.

As online edition of newspaper Vest says, Ukshini stated Shefket Kalaci contacted mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to surrender, but the police attacked them.

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Photo slideshow shows photography of 2015 events in Kumanovo.

Ukshini stated he passed the border illegally on May 1 or May 2, 2015. He arrived in Kumanovo on May 5, 2015. Reportedly, after he spotted a drone on May 7 and 8, he warned organizers they should leave.

Ukshini stated intercepted conversations, which police delivered to the court, as evidences are incomplete.

Parts of the members of those arrested after the police action belong to the former armed organization, which clashed with official police and armed forces of Republic of Macedonia in 2001.

The goal of the group, as Ukshini state was to ensure broaden realization of 2001 Ohrid Framework Agreement.

At the beginning of this working week, another lawyer, Naser Raufi talked to reporters and said the defendants would suggest witnesses during the hearing part. Raufi stated that neither of accused persons gave statement in the preliminary examination.


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