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Parliament storming trial: Ex-speaker Veljanoski testifies in court

Trajko Veljanoski, former parliament speaker, was called Tuesday to testify in court at a trial about the 2017 Parliament storming.

Skopje, 11 December 2018 (MIA) – Trajko Veljanoski, former parliament speaker, was called Tuesday to testify in court at a trial about the 2017 Parliament storming.

Answering questions, Veljaonski denied having SMS communication that proved he gave orders in Parliament on 27 April 2017. “I’ve never even thought about ordering someone to open the doors of the Parliament’s building let alone to give such orders,” he said in a response to a question of one of the defendants.

He said he didn’t tell the MPs, who are standing trial, to open the doors and he didn’t know if someone else had given such orders.

“As chairman, I deemed it was important to begin a session and to close it in accordance with the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure in which a president (of the parliament) should be elected,” stated Veljanoski.

According to him, the election of the incumbent speaker, Talat Xhaferi, was against the Rules of Procedures because he had terminated the session before scheduling the session to continue the next day at 11:00h.

Testifying in court, Veljanoski said on 27 April 2017 he had cancelled the session at 18:00h after which he went to his office where he stayed until the end. He had refused to be evacuated in a special evacuation room.

According to his testimony, most of the commotion in Parliament had taken place in front of his office where shock bombs were activated every two minutes. Veljanoski said that there had also been attempts for storming of his office.

The trial continues Tuesday with testimonies by witnesses proposed by the defendants.

Thirty-three people are indicted in the Parliament storming case, 31 of whom are charged with terrorist endangerment of the constitutional order and security and two others are charged with aiding and abetting.

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