Balkan insight

Council of Europe Probes Death
of Ex-Macedonian President

Skopje - Macedonian police said Wednesday they will support a Council of Europe bid to establish whether a new investigation should be launched into the tragic death of Macedonian president Boris Trajkovski in 2004.

A representative of the council, Swiss deputy Andreas Gross, is to travel to Macedonian to seek «supplementary information» before deciding whether to recommend a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Trajkovski, the council said in a press statement on Tuesday.

«We conducted a preliminary investigation and we made request to offices of foreign countries that we believe have information on this case, to share them with us. So far, we haven’t received something new and substantial,» Ivo Kotevski, Macedonian police spokesman, told Balkan Insight. Kotevski said that Macedonian police will cooperate with Council of Europe on the matter.

Twenty-one members of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly have signed Gross`s motion requesting an investigation «to clarify the allegedly suspicious death of former President Trajkovski». President Trajkovski, together with eight members of his staff, died in a plane crash, near the town of Mostar in Bosnia in February 2004.

In February this year, Gross told the media that he had doubts about the conclusions of the official Bosnian investigation and called for a new inquiry. Gross told the media eyewitnesses claim they saw people coming out of the crashed plane. It is also alleged that SFOR, the international military force in Bosnia, refused to grant local authorities access to the crash site for 24 hours.

Last year, the Macedonian Office of the Prosecutor accepted the findings of the Bosnian investigation, which said the plane had crashed because of pilot error. In February, Macedonian police asked the Office of the Prosecutor to re-open the investigation. After the appeal was rejected, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said the police will continue gathering new evidence until unanswered questions over the tragic crash are addressed.

Kontakt mit Andreas Gross

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