Ramush Haradinaj has called for “an international investigation” after a FYROM (Macedonian) court sentenced 33 members of the “Kumanovo Group” to lengthy prison terms.
The Kosovo prime minister said on Friday he was following the trial in the wake of “the tragic event in Kumanovo in May 2015” with “increased attention.”
“Justice should be brought to its place, starting with shedding light fully on the event and all its dimensions. An international investigation would help to fully shed light on the truth, which we all stand for,” Haradinaj said.
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci supported Haradinaj’s request, while Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli summoned for “internal consultations” Pristina’s ambassador in Skopje, but also Skopje’s ambassador in Pristina, Beta reported, quoting local media.
On Thursday, seven ethnic Albanians were sentenced to life in prison, while the remaining 26 defendants received jail terms ranging from 12 to 40 years each. Four were acquitted for lack of evidence.
They stood accused of committing acts of terrorism when they clashed with special Macedonian police in Kumanovo in 2015, killing eight officers.
The judge ordered the defendants removed from the courtroom before reading the verdicts, after they caused chaos by chanting slogans dedicated to the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army and to “Greater Albania.”
Later on Thursday, several Macedonian flags were torched in Gnjilane and Skopje.