The attack on the Macedonian parliament that took place in April 2017, injuring more than hundred people including the current prime minister, Zoran Zaev, was orchestrated directly from VMRO-DPMNE party headquarters, according a key defendant on trial for taking part in the violence.
Aleksandar Vasilevski, who is facing charges of “terrorist endangering of national security” for his role in the raid on the parliament told the court yesterday that the attack was directed by a command structure based on the eighth floor of the VMRO-DPMNE headquarters in Skopje. According to Vasilevski, this group was comprised of, among others, the former government secretary general Kiril Bozinovski, former uniformed police chief Mitko Cavkov, former deputy justice minister Biljana Briskovska, and former transport Minister Mile Janakieski.
Cavkov and Briskovska are also among the 30 defendants in this case, according to Balkan Insight, while Bozinovski and Janakieski are in detention for other, unrelated cases.
Vasilevski claims that he was the only participant who knew that the order to storm the parliament and prevent the new Social Democratic government from being sworn in came from senior VMRO-DPMNE officials.
He also claimed that Vladimir Atanasovski, the former director of Macedonian secret services, known as the UBK, later joined the command group. Atanasovski, who was arrested on Tuesday has denied any involvement in organising the attack and testified in court that he could not remember his movements on the day in question.
According to Vasilevski, the VMRO-DPMNE plotters had been expecting President Gjorge Ivanov to declare a state of emergency that would bring the army onto the streets and prevent the changeover of government.
The president’s office has issued a statement denying the assertion that President Gjorge Ivanov was in any way complicit with the days events.
Aleksandar Vasilevski, who had made a name for himself in the Macedonian criminal underworld, said he was hired by the UBK in 2015 and began working on undercover operations as the “eyes and ears” of another UBK agent Nikola Boskovski. In 2017, Boskovski fled Macedonia with former VMRO-DPMNE prime minister Nikola Gruevski, both of whom were wanted in connection with the massive wiretapping scandal that eventually brought down Gruevski’s government.
Gruevski, now in exile in Hungary, has also denied that he had any involvement in the attack.