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Former Macedonian Minister Faces War Crimes Tribunal

April 16, 2007 -- The war crimes trial of former Macedonian Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski, who is accused over an attack on ethnic Albanians in 2001, is due to start today in The Hague.

Boskovski and a former senior Macedonian police official, Johan Tarculovski, face charges of murder, wanton destruction, and cruel treatment in connection with the deaths of seven men and the mistreatment of others in the village of Ljuboten during the 2001 conflict between Macedonian forces and ethnic-Albanian rebels.

The attack came in apparent retaliation for a deadly strike on Macedonian forces by ethnic-Albanian guerrillas in the area a day earlier.

Boskovski and Tarculovski could face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of all charges. They have pleaded not guilty.

The two men are the first Macedonians to stand trial at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

(RFE/RL 16.iv.07)

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