Macedonia's Buckovski misses court appearance, risks arrest


SKOPJE, Macedonia -- A court in Skopje warned on Saturday (February 5th) that it will issue an arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Vlado Buckovski unless he appears at hearings in a case related to the purchase of spare parts for army tanks. Buckovski failed to appear in court saying he was in Jerusalem on a business trip. Now a parliament member representing the opposition SDSM, he says he had informed the court of plans to attend the European Friends of Israel international conference in Israel through Tuesday. The court however did not receive confirmation from parliament about the trip. Contacted by phone, Buckovski told local media he will appear in court for the next hearing, Thursday. In December 2008, he was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for abuse of power and corruption. The case stemmed from a 2.4m-euro purchase of spare parts for army tanks in 2001, when Buckovski was defence minister. An appeals court overturned that verdict and ordered a retrial. (Sitel, In Press - 06/02/11)

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