North Macedonia's former officials jailed over 2017 parliament attack

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SKOPJE, July 26 (Xinhua) -- A court in North Macedonia on Monday sentenced former parliamentary speaker Trajko Veljanoski and three former senior officials to imprisonment for organizing the violent attack against the country's parliament on April 27, 2017.

The Criminal Court in Skopje gave the verdict to sentence Veljanoski to six years and six months in jail and former transport and labor ministers -- Mile Janakieski and Spiro Ristovski -- to six years and three months in jail each.

The Criminal Court also decided to sentence Vladimir Atanasovski, former head of the secret police, to six years in jail.

The former officials, all members of the former ruling VMRO-DPMNE party, were found guilty of "terrorist endangerment of constitutional order" and were accused of being the organizers of the April 2017 parliament storming, where about 100 people were injured.

Some 100 masked demonstrators, supporters of the VMRO-DPMNE party, stormed inside the parliament building in an attempt to stop the new majority from electing a new parliament speaker and the Social Democratic Union leader Zoran Zaev from forming a new government.

Dozens of lawmakers and journalists were injured during the violent attack, including Zaev, who is now prime minister.

On Monday, the court did not give any verdict for former prime minister and VMRO-DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski, who fled North Macedonia in 2018 and was granted political asylum in Hungary. Enditem

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