Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Macedonia: Five months after Ilinden tragedy, case not over

FOCUS Information Agency - Approximately five months after Ilinden ship sank in Lake Ohrid, the case is not over yet and it cannot enter the Prosecutor’s Office, Macedonian Alfa television station reports.

Earlier it was announced that the team of experts was scheduled to complete its task in January.
The lawyers of the only, for now, defendant – the ship captain – are also waiting for the case to reach the Prosecutor’s Office to see whether and against whom a charge will be pressed and whether the case will be labeled as an accident. Some of the experts expect to see whether two more people should be held responsible for the incident, in which 15 Bulgarian tourists died.
A parallel case is ongoing in Bulgaria. It tries to establish whether the firm that organized the holiday is liable. According to the Bulgarian media, by the end of the week it will become clear whether the tourist agency will be charged, Alfa says.

The television station adds the Bulgarian investigating bodies complained of not being aware of the investigation opened by their Macedonian counterparts. They say they asked for the documents in the file in November, but they received only some of the witnesses’ testimonies and did not get the experts’ conclusions. The court in Ohrid says nobody sent them such a request, because the cooperation takes place through the Prosecutor’s Office, which is giving its Bulgarian counterpart all documents it adds to the file.

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