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Judge Uneasy Over Macedonian Trial Length

TU No 448, 13-Apr-06
By IWPR
At a routine status conference on April 11, Judge Albin Eser noted that the prosecution had submitted a list of over 120 witnesses to testify against former interior minister Ljube Boskoski and police officer Johan Tarculovski. This alone, he said, could take up to eight months.



The indictment against Boskoski and Tarculovski covers a period of several days in August 2001, during fighting that broke out between Macedonian security forces and ethnic Albanian rebels that year. The two men are charged with responsibility for a spate of murders, beatings and arson during and immediately after an attack on the Albanian-populated village of Ljuboten.



Prosecutors, who had previously suggested that their witness testimony could take four months, said there would likely be "some room" for reducing the latest estimate. They promised to review the matter before the next status conference.



Other administrative matters discussed at the hearing included prosecutors' efforts to fulfil their obligation to disclose evidence to the defence, and a defence request for access to confidential material from war crimes proceedings against the former prime minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj.

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