Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Accused Cocaine Smuggler Sues Macedonia

Skopje_ Stanislava Cocorovska Poletan, jailed on cocaine smuggling charges, has filed a complaint against Macedonia in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, her lawyer, Dimitar Dangov, told Balkan Insight on Thursday.

In the complaint, Dangov says, Cocorovska accuses the state of violating her defence rights by keeping her in custody for over forty days without showing her evidence for the charges. Cocorovska blames the investigative judge and the prosecutor's office for their silence about her case.

“The team of lawyers won’t be able to prepare Cocorovska's defense on time, because we haven't looked at the list of prosecutor's evidence,” Dangov said, explaining the reasons for the Strasbourg complaint filed on Tuesday.

Cocorovska was charged with involvement in the smuggling of 486 kilograms of cocaine that was found by the Macedonian police in a truck at the Blace border crossing last Christmas.

The Macedonian police said that Cocorovska was involved in shipping the cocaine from Venezuela to Montenegro, and that Macedonia was a transit country for the shipment, which was eventually destined for Greece.

Last month, Cocorovska was extradited to Macedonia from Serbia, where she was held in custody for four months. During that period, she failed to gain Serbian citizenship and thus avoid extradition.

Despite the practise of pleading to Strasbourg after the local country court has reached a verdict, this is the first complaint filed from Macedonia for a case that is still under investigation.

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