'Monster' case: Retrial resumes on March 14

'Monster' case: Retrial resumes on March 14
The retrial over the case code-named 'Monster', involving the killings of five men in April 2012 nearby Skopje, will resume on March 14.

The retrial kicked off Monday with a public prosecutor reading the indictment. The prosecutor Naum Panovski said the prosecuting party would stick to the initial indictment under which the accused are charged with terrorism.

Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse in Skopje, defense lawyer Naser Raufi said he believed the process would be transparent and fair.

Asked whether the Special Public Prosecution (SPO) would take over the case, he said had been informed that the SPO had already launched an investigation into the case.

"The defense team believes that the SPO will be involved because there are tapped conversations, meaning the institution definitely has the competence," stated Raufi.

Four men charged with committing the killings attended today's trial. Two other men, namely Alil Demiri and Afrim Ismailovic, have been on the run for years in Kosovo. An international warrant for their arrest has been issued.

The massacre nearby Smilkovo Lake took place on 12 April 2012 on the eve of Orthodox Easter. Four teenagers were killed, Kire Trickovski, Filip Slavkovski, Cvetanco Ackovski, Aleksanar Nakjevski, and the fisherman Borce Stefanovski.

Alil Demiri, Afrim and Agim Ismailovic and Ezim and Haki Aziri and Samil Ljuta were sentenced to life imprisonment for their involvement in the multiple murder.

After rescinding the verdicts, the Supreme Court in December 2017 ordered acquittal of Agim Ismailovic, Hakji Aziri, Samil Ljuta and Fejzi Aziri. Alil Demiri and Afrim Ismailovic are still at large.

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