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Pilots Not Responsible in Trajkovski Crash, Prosecutor Says

December 10, 2004

( Research Service)-  State-run MIA reported Thursday that according to the latest findings of the Skopje Public Prosecutor’s office, pilots Marko Markovski and Branko Ivanovski will not be blamed for the crash that killed President Boris Trajkovski in February.The pilots were at the helm of the Macedonian government’s Beechcraft Super King Air 200 on February 26, 2004, when the plane went down in poor weather conditions near Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the documents and evidence support the view that the plane crash “…due to [the] crew’s shortcomings in the approaching procedure to [the] airport [at] Mostar in conditions of complex meteorological condition, thick fog and cloudiness.”

At the time of the crash, members of the Macedonian aeronautic community had already come forward to vouch for the pilots’ ability and experience. One of them, Mr. Ivanovski, had even attended brushed up on his skills at a squadron training course at a USAF base in Alabama in 2000.

However, the government has been less than forthcoming over various aspects of the whole case and various lags and contradictions have fueled conspiracy theories over what caused the president’s plane to go down when it was only moments from landing. From the first, when release of a report was delayed until after the hasty presidential election, some connected it with an alleged feud between Trajkovski and then-Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski over the former’s opposition to the territorial division bill that sparked November’s failed referendum.

Most sensationally, referendum leader Todor Petrov insinuated that Crvenkovski was responsible for the president’s death. However, there is no evidence to confirm this, and those who might be in a position to challenge the status quo have shown little interest in rocking the boat. It’s likely that we will never know exactly what led to Trajkovski’s death, or if the official explanation is true, false, or inconclusive. A typically foggy result for a land where nothing is ever as it seems.

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