The five MPs accused of opening the doors of the Parliament on April 27 arrived to the hearing at the new building of the Criminal Court yesterday. Three of them, Krsto Mukoski, Ljuben Arnaudov and Saso Vasilevski, were brought by house arrest, while Johan Tarculovski and Ljupco Dimovski came home. Before the trial and breaks, none of the MPs wanted to make a statement to the media and avoid communication with the journalists. The hearing began as usual, just like any other, none of the defendants commented on the call for reconciliation on the events of 27 April, which was sent by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev from the Parliament on Thursday during the session to discuss constitutional changes for which the government has not secured a two-thirds majority.
Judge Dobrila Kacarska did not mention the call of Zaev at all, so she, at the request of the journalists, only commented on the prosecutor who leads the case, Vilma Ruskoska. The prosecutor did not recognize amnesty in the Prime Minister’s reconciliation call, just reconciliation. However, she said that amnesty was a political decision.
“It does not depend on the prosecution, amnesty is a political decision,” Ruskoska said.
Within hours of the beginning of the hearing, the information reached that the Criminal Court is lifting the house arrest of MP Saso Vasilevski and that with a guarantee of 400,000 euros in real estate he will defend himself from freedom. The court gave him precautionary measures, that is, took his passport and had an obligation to appear occasionally in the court in Ohrid. In the afternoon, the Appeal lifted the detention of the MP from VMRO-DPMNE, Ljuben Arnaudov, who gave a guarantee of 300 thousand euros. Vasilevski and Arnaudov will now be able to attend the parliamentary sessions and possibly vote. Their immunity has been lifted, but they still have mandates to represent citizens in Parliament.
Vasilevski did not answer the journalist’s question whether he would join the parliamentary session on which the Constitution is being discussed. Only Arnaudov made a statement to the media and said that he had not considered for the time being whether he would vote for constitutional changes in exchange for amnesty.
“We haven’t thought of it so far, but certainly we will work exclusively in the interest of Macedonia and the Macedonian people,” Arnaudov said.
He says that no one has contacted him personally and has not offered him reconciliation and interpreted the prime minister’s call as a political decision.
These are political decisions that are being discussed in parliament, we are in the courtroom, we are accused of one crime, we are focused on proving that it is not exactly as it seems, to prove our innocence,” Arnaudov said.
The first defendant, Krsto Mukoski, submitted an application for house arrest. He did not offer a guarantee and did not ask for a public session, but only appealed his detention decision.
A total of 33 people were indicted for the invasion in the Parliament, of which 31 people were charged with a terrorist threat to the constitutional order of the state, and two for aiding. Among the defendants, besides lawmakers, there are also employees of the Ministry of Interior, the parliamentary security, and artists. It is this case that is found in the conclusions of the European Council, that is, on the recommendations and conditions that Macedonia should fulfill in order to start the EU accession negotiations. One of the conclusions clearly stated that the responsibility for the attack in the Parliament should be established.