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Last Updated: Friday, 1 April, 2005, 18:19 GMT 19:19 UK
Macedonian enters war crimes plea
By Geraldine Coughlan
BBC News, The Hague

Ljube Boskovski
Mr Boskovski says he intends to defend his honour
Macedonia's former Interior Minister, Ljube Boskovski, has pleaded not guilty at the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

Mr Boskovski is charged with the murder of ethnic Albanian civilians during an insurgency in Macedonia in 2001.

He represented himself at his first court appearance and told the judge he would defend his honour.

He said the tribunal's inquiry that led to his indictment was a direct attack on the Macedonian government.

Mr Boskovski denied charges of murder, cruel treatment and destruction.

He was transferred to the tribunal last week from Croatia where he had been under arrest there for 10 months on unrelated charges.

He is accused of being responsible for crimes committed by security forces during a conflict between the government and ethnic Albanian rebels in 2001.

Mr Boskovski was indicted along with his bodyguard and top police officer, Johan Tarculovsky, who is also in the tribunal's custody.

The two men were the last to be indicted by the court, which is due to complete its caseload by 2008.


SEE ALSO:
At a glance: Hague tribunal
05 Jul 04 |  Europe


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