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05:03, 17 July 2018 Tuesday
17:43, 05 July 2018 Thursday

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7 Macedonians jailed over attack on MP in parliament
7 Macedonians jailed over attack on MP in parliament

The seven were found guilty of trying to kill ethnic Albanian MP Ziadin Sela, who was hospitalised with severe injuries following the attack.

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Macedonian court on Thursday jailed seven men for the attempted murder of an MP during an attack on parliament last year.

On April 27, 2017 some 100 nationalists, many of them masked, stormed the assembly in Skopje to protest against the choice of a new parliamentary speaker, an ethnic Albanian who had served as a defence minister in a previous conservative government.

Several other people, including MPs, journalists and police officers, were also injured in the bloody rioting.

"The accused men tried to kill MP Ziadin Sela. The evidence against them was clear from the video material," said  judge Slavica Andrevska.  

"My life is ruined, I am done," said Nikola Vojmoinovski after the judge delivered him the heaviest sentence of 13 and a half years in prison. 

Two other defendants received 13-year jail terms, while the four others received 10-year sentences each. Some of the convicts wept when the verdicts were announced.

All the defendants had pleaded not guilty and defence attorneys said they would lodge an appeal.

In March Macedonia's state prosecutor charged another 30 people over the April 2017 attack. Their trial is expected to start on August 22.

The 30 accused include five MPs from the opposition conservative VMRP-DPMNE party and senior interior ministry officials, who have been charged with "terrorist endangerment of the constitutional order and security".

If found guilty, they could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.

A man who pleaded guilty of having attacked another MP in the violence was sentenced in March to four years in prison.

The attack on parliament, which was strongly condemned by the international community notably the European Union, followed a long-running political crisis in the Balkan country.

A month after the violence, Social Democrat Zoran Zaev -- who was beaten up in the riots -- became prime minister.



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