Macedonia seeks new probe for 2004 plane crash

Feb 29, 2012, 3:21 PM

Associated Press

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) – Macedonia called for a new investigation Wednesday into a crash eight years ago that killed the country’s president, saying Bosnia should open a more detailed probe after new evidence emerged.

Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski and eight others were killed in the crash near the Bosnian town of Mostar on Feb. 26, 2004.

Speculation about the cause of Trajkovski’s death spread almost immediately after the crash, with some suspecting his rivals at home might have arranged his demise. Some pointed to the extensive amount of time it took for the wreckage to be found in the hills near Mostar. Others suspected Mostar’s air traffic control, which at the time was run by French military personnel.

Bosnian authorities conducted an investigation at the time, and concluded the plane crashed because of bad weather conditions and pilot error during a landing attempt.

But a nearly four-year probe by local and foreign experts has uncovered new evidence, Macedonian government spokesman Martin Martinoski said. The government received the report Tuesday night and has sent it to the country’s main prosecutor.

It recommends a further investigation into the crash itself and the preceding 26 hours, including the activities of NATO-led international peacekeepers in the area. No further details were given, including what the new evidence was.

Martinoski said Bosnian authorities had “never opened a deeper official investigation into the plane crash.”

Trajkovski had been on his way from Skopje to Mostar to attend a business forum when his plane crashed during a landing attempt, killing him and the other eight members of his staff and flight crew on board.

His twin brother, Aleksandar, insisted last year that the late president had been deliberately killed.

“It was a murder, not an accident for me,” he said. “Someone was bothered by his job, his honesty, his successes and it was best he be removed physically,” he said. Aleksandar Trajkovski died in December of a heart attack.

However, the original official investigation showed that the aircraft descended prematurely from the standard landing route, causing it to crash into the nearby hills.

The new report will also be handed to the European Parliament’s legal affairs and human rights committee, the Council of Europe and to Andreas Gross, a Swiss member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

World News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, ...

Associated Press

Israeli Cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas; deal includes release of 50 hostages

Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a cease-fire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war.

13 days ago

Palestinians leave their homes following Israeli bombardment on Gaza City, Monday, Oct. 30, 2023. (...

Associated Press

Israeli airstrikes crush apartments in Gaza refugee camp, as ground troops battle Hamas militants

A flurry of Israeli airstrikes Tuesday on a refugee camp near Gaza City leveled apartment buildings, leaving craters where they once stood.

1 month ago

Moroccan boys, Rayan and Ali walk amidst the rubble of their home which was damaged by the earthqua...

Associated Press

Powerful quake in Morocco kills more than 2,000 people and damages historic buildings in Marrakech

A powerful earthquake has struck Morocco, toppling buildings in villages and cities not built to withstand such force.

3 months ago

State Farm Stadium Gold Cup soccer arrests 2023...

Serena O'Sullivan

Police arrest five people after State Farm Stadium brawl on Thursday

Two people were arrested for a State Farm Stadium brawl after Thursday's soccer matches between Qatar and Honduras plus Mexico and Haiti.

5 months ago

Members of the Wagner Group military company load their tank onto a truck on a street. (AP Photo)...

Associated Press

Russia says Wagner Group’s leader will move to Belarus after his rebellious march challenged Putin

Russian leaders say the Wagner Group leader who staged a short-lived rebellion will move to Belarus and not face prosecution.

5 months ago

Associated Press

How (and when) to watch King Charles’ coronation in the US

There are plenty of options to watch the regalia-heavy event that serves as a formal confirmation of King Charles' dual role as head of state and titular leader of the Church of England.

7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

Follow @KTAR923...

West Hunsaker at Morris Hall supports Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona

KTAR's Community Spotlight this month focuses on Morris Hall and its commitment to supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University: innovating Arizona health care education

Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus near Loop 101 and 59th Avenue is an established leader in health care education and one of Arizona’s largest and most valuable health care resources.

Macedonia seeks new probe for 2004 plane crash