DUI party leader Ali Ahmeti testified today in the 2012 Good Friday massacre trial, in which Albanian Islamists killed four Macedonian boys and one man. The retrial is held former Prime Minister Zoran Zaev insisted that he has additional evidence that will shine a new light on the case – a claim that has since been fully debunked.

Prosecutor Fatime Fetai, who was assigned this case while she worked in the now disgraced Special Prosecutor’s Office, asked Ahmeti why he also publicly raised doubts in the outcome of the initial trial, which found the Islamists guilty and sentenced them to life in prison. Ahmeti said that he feared protest from fellow ethnic Albanians  that could spiral out of control. He added that his DUI party was being blamed in the Albanian public that it is involved in a cover-up, after Zaev began spreading his claims. Zaev’s fake claims made it very difficult for an Albanian party to remain in a coalition with VMRO-DPMNE, and it also helped Zaev’s SDSM party form the next Government, as it made it harder for VMRO to renew its coalition with DUI.

Ahmeti also testified that he turned to American and European officials asking for an international monitoring of the initial trial, but was told that they trust OSCE in its observations.

Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani also testified. He was asked whether he met with father of protected witness Haki Aziri, who withdrew his testimony under pressure and was later accused as an accomplice. Osmani said that he met Aziri’s father, but only after he was called out by him in the public, to ask him to stop doing that. Ahmeti also testified that he knows the suspect’s father.

In coming hearings the court will hear from the then head of the UBK state security agency Saso Mijalkov, as well as former DUI officials Musa Xhaferi and Blerim Bexheti.