During the hearing in the April 27 trial today, a number of former and current VMRO-DPMNE officials testified that the party was not involved in orgaizing the protest. The trial is one of the series of politically motivated cases which the Zaev regime initiated against VMRO-DPMNE, and in it party officials are accused of the 2017 incident in the Parliament.

Vladimir Misajlovski, currently Vice President of the party who was then Transportation Minister, said that his municipal branch of the party did not have a stand on whether to support the protests that were taking place each day in front of the Parliament. During one such protest, the SDSM and DUI parties staged an irregular vote for a new Speaker, which provoked the crowd to enter the building and assault a number of representatives.

Sokol Mitrovski, former Mayor of Gjorce Petrov in Skopje, which is also Misajlovski’s branch, also testified that he did not participate in the organization of the protests, and never even attended them. “I did not pressure employees of town hall to go to the protests, it was their own free will if they did or not”, Mitrovski said.

Similarly, former Mayor of Aerodrom Ivica Konevski, who is now part of a faction built around former security chief Saso Mijalkov, said that his party branch in Aerodrom did not participate in the protests. Both mayors said that they were not in contact with the defendants, Mile Janakieski and Spiro Ristovski, over the protests.