Sunday, August 05, 2007

Former PM faces fraud charges

Macedonian prosecutors planned on Wednesday to probe into the alleged involvement of former prime minister Vlado Buckovski into an arms procurement scandal that led to the arrest of the country's retired army chief.

A court asked to strip the former Prime Minister of his immunity that he is enjoying as a member of parliament and put him under investigation, news reaching here from Skopje reported.

On Tuesday, retired General Metodi Stamboliski, former army chief of staff, was put under temporary detention on suspicion of over-ordering spare parts for T55 tanks in 2001, costing the country 3 million euros (4.14 US dollars).

Vlado Buckovski was defense minister when the order was made and he was suspected of getting involvement in the case.

"I will cooperate with this new investigation," Buckovski, who served as Macedonia's prime minister from 2004 to 2006, said in a statement.

He pointed out that another investigation, carried out during the period of September 2002-July 2003, had found nothing wrong with the case, Makfax, Macedonia's independent new agency, reported.

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