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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 18:50 GMT
Macedonia 'fake raid' trial opens
Four people have gone on trial in Macedonia charged with killing six Pakistanis and an Indian and making it look like an anti-terrorist raid.

Prosecutors say the three former police officials and a businessman arranged the deaths to enhance Macedonia's standing in the war against terror.

The seven immigrants were killed in a village near Skopje in 2002.

At the time, police said the seven had been planning to attack Western embassies in Skopje.

The defendants deny the charges.

The former Macedonian Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski, who was initially charged as the main organiser of the killings, fled to Croatia, where he is in jail awaiting trial.

The defendants include police General Goran Stojkov, intelligence officer Aleksandar Cvetkov, the former commander of a disbanded special police unit, Boban Utkovski, and businessman Mitko Kikerkov.

The indictment says the four men lured the foreigners - believed to be illegal immigrants trying to get into nearby European Union countries - into Macedonia.

They then accused them of being terrorists and killed them.

The Associated Press news agency says their defence lawyers claim the men were victims of "politically motivated" proceedings that are part of "political revenge" by the new Macedonian government.

Macedonia faked 'militant' raid
30 Apr 04 |  Europe

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