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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 February, 2005, 06:01 GMT
Murder charge for Macedonia ex-MP
Ljube Boskovski
Mr Boskovski is remembered as a hardline nationalist interior minister
A Macedonian ex-interior minister has been charged over the deaths of seven South Asian immigrants, alleged at the time to have been Islamic militants.

A prosecutor said Ljube Boskovski ordered the killings months after the 9/11 attacks to earn US recognition as a partner in the "war on terror".

Macedonian officials later said the six Pakistanis and one Indian had been killed in a "staged" encounter.

Mr Boskovski, who denies the charge, has been living in Croatia since 2004.

Croatian authorities arrested him late last year, acting on a warrant issued by Macedonia, and will try him there.

A prosecutor in northwestern Croatia said Mr Boskovski has been charged with "having orchestrated and carried out the murder of seven economic immigrants in order to prove to the US that Macedonia was participating in the international war on terrorism".

Murder charges

Mr Boskovski, who holds dual Croatian and Macedonian citizenship, fled from Macedonia after being accused of involvement in the killings.

He says he is not guilty of the charge and has evidence that proves the slain men were al-Qaeda operatives, planning an attack on western targets in Macedonia, in concert with Albanian militants.

Four men, including police officers and a businessman, have been put on trial in Macedonia on charges of luring the seven immigrants from Bulgaria before killing them.

All the defendants deny the charges.

Remembered in Macedonia as a hardline interior minister, Mr Boskovski also commanded his own elite paramilitary police unit in 2001, at a time of escalating unrest between the security forces and ethnic Albanian guerrillas.

The unit was disbanded in 2003, more than a year after a Western-brokered peace deal restored calm to the region.

Ex-Macedonian minister arrested
01 Sep 04 |  Europe
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08 May 04 |  Europe
Macedonia faked 'militant' raid
30 Apr 04 |  Europe

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