Former Macedonian prime minister sentenced to prison

Other News Materials 9 December 2008 21:16 (UTC +04:00)

Former Macedonian prime minister Vlado Buckovski was sentenced Tuesday to three and a half years in prison for abuse of power while serving as defence minister in 2001, local media reported.

Buckovski was charged along with a former chief of staff and two employees in the defence ministry. He was found guilty of illegally buying a large amounts of overpriced tank parts during a 2001 conflict between Macedonian forces and Albanian insurgents, incurring losses of 2.5 million euros (3.2 million dollars) to the state budget.

Buckovski, who was prime minister of Macedonia from 2004 to 2006, said the verdict was "scandalous", dpa reported.

The 2001 conflict ended after eight months of fighting with an internationally brokered peace.