Three years after the revolting murder of Aleksandar Nakevski, Filip Slavkovski, Cvetancho Ackovski, Kire Trpkovski and fisherman Borche Stefkovski on Holy Thursday, Smiljkovo Lake today is calm, as if nothing had happened.
Witness the monstrous act is only the small church “Holy 40 Martyrs”, built in honor of the killed children.
Silence feels despite sporadic movement of vehicles and locals with sad look directed us how to get to the required destination.
In no part of the road leading to the site of the brutal murder there is no sign, so a man who has never been there cannot orient easily.
Five people were liquidated there in cold blood. The event caused a shock in the Macedonian public and the echo doesn’t appease to this day, even though the case had a court settlement, in which six people got life sentences.
Parents and relatives of the four liquidated boys, aged 18 to 21 years, are still searching for the truth, suspecting that institutions didn’t fully solve the case and that the orders of the massacre are concealed.
– We want the orderers of the killings to be found. We know that they know who they are, but the deliberately concealed. The verdict contains four pages of coded conversations. Communication of the executioners with the orders. Those are telephones of politicians. On the trial, the judge gave the lawyers of the accused sheets, and when they saw them, they paled. Ali Ahmeti knows everything, maybe he is involved. Maybe he organized it for political bargaining – said for META Goran Nakevski, father of murdered Aleksandar Nakevski.
In the past three years, parents sought help with foreign representatives in the country, but, as Nakevski says, they were not interested to help.
– We were at the US Embassy. We brought the verdict, and behold the deputy ambassador – he also has the verdict in his hands. They also know everything, but no use. They say they had no time, no desire, no basis – says Nakevski.
As one of the possible motives for the massacre was revenge for the double murder which happened in February the same year in Gostivar, when a police officer with a gun killed two Albanians after an argument over a parking space.
– After that event there was a song, in which it was sang that Macedonians will be killed and slaughtered. That song was found in the phones of the accused and was played in the courtroom. We think it is a possible motive. But the whole brutal act was organized, it was not done just like that – says Nakevski.
The bodies of the four boys and the middle-aged fisherman were found on 12th of April 2012, on Holy Thursday, around 10:30 pm, on the shore of Smiljkovo Lake. Autopsy of the bodies found that shots of three types of weapons were fired in them from close range.
Meanwhile, police mobilized a number of its members to prevent escalation of the already tense atmosphere. Residents of Radishani blocked local streets and damaged several cars and shops.
An operational headquarters was also set up, which led the operation to detect and arrest the perpetrators of the massacre.
On 16th of April, Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska confirmed that the car brand “Opel Omega” with burgundy color that police found 10 kilometers from the scene of the murder, was used by the perpetrators.
Around 1st of May, police performed extensive action under the operational name “Monster”, in which some of the defendants were arrested. The operation included around 800 police officers from the Public Security Bureau (PSB), as well as the Security and Counterintelligence Agency (UBK).
After nearly two years of trial and several delays of the announcement of the verdict, on 30th of June last year, for the massacre near Smiljkovo Lake, Alil Demiri, Afrim Ismailovik and Agim Ismailovik received life sentences for terrorism, as direct perpetrators of the massacre, and for planning and execution, Fejzi Aziri, Haki Aziri and Sami Ljuta also received life sentences.
First accused Alil Demiri and Agim Ismailovik are still in Kosovo, where they were arrested and convicted of possessing weapons. Macedonian judicial authorities demanded their extradition, but there is still no reply for that.
Verdicts of the case “Monster” sparked heated protests among citizens of the Albanian community, part of which were marked by violence, which culminated in stoning the court, and several police officers were injured. Protestants thought the ruling was unfair and that the case “Monster” is rigged.
Late last year, the portal “Portalb” reported that the Municipality of Gazi Baba plans construction of buildings on the land that is under concession to the families of the accused in the case “Monster”.
Bedri Ajdari, relative of the sentenced to life imprisonment Fejzi Aziri, then stated for “Portalb” that the truth about the case “Monster” is slowly revealing.
– We have always believed that the whole thing is related to the agreement that we made for the land and it is slowly revealing that it’s true. I do not know who is to build or what is to be built, I just know that the charges of murder are related with 39 acres of land that were taken under the concession of 30 years in 2006 – said then Ajdari for “Portalb”, adding that there were several attempts to break the concession contract, but it was impossible, so the goal was achieved with the murder of five people near Smiljkovo Lake.