Acquittal in the "Army Weapons" case after 16 years in the courts

Criminal Court / Photo: Dragan Mitreski

The "Army Weapons" case, which dragged through the court labyrinths for 16 years, ended with an acquittal for four defendants, who at one time held responsible positions in the Ministry of Defense.

The acquittal verdict for the head of the Department of Logistics in the MoD, Nelko Menkinoski, for Colonel Ilija Shkordovski, the commander of the Logistics Command, Viktor Raički, and the manager of the special equipment, Gligor Stojanov, was passed after the presentation and evaluation of all the facts and evidence of the parties, the Criminal Court announced. .

The investigation into the case was opened way back in 2006, when the then leadership in the Ministry of Internal Affairs boasted that they had seized 3 trucks with army weapons that were headed for Bulgaria. Charges were brought for the smuggling of army weapons the following year, and already in July 2007 prison sentences were determined for the defendants with a first-instance verdict by the Criminal Court. The final judgment of 2008 changed only the amount of prison sentences. In the same year, the Supreme Court overturned both verdicts and returned the case from the beginning. And in 2012, the Appeal annulled the previously passed new verdict by the Criminal Court with prison sentences. Since 2013, the case remained in court proceedings for the next 10 years until this acquittal.

But the prosecutor's office can appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal.

The "Army weapons" case was interpreted as a political-party setup by VMRO-DPMNE, and it will remain in the annals of the Macedonian judiciary as one of the longest trials.

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