Macedonians mourn Vanja

The authorities of North Macedonia have promised that the perpetrator and accomplices in the murder of a 14-year-old girl will be severely punished

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Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate
Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

The murder of the 14-year-old girl Vanja Đorčevska, whose body was found on Sunday after a seven-day search, shook North Macedonia and the entire region. Residents of North Macedonia massively posted black ribbons instead of their profile photos on social networks yesterday as a sign of mourning for the shocking murder of a girl who went to school last Monday and disappeared. Five people, including her father, are suspected of her murder, the Skopje Prosecutor's Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs announced yesterday at a joint press conference. Three people were arrested, confessed their guilt and presented the chronology of events.

Yesterday, a book of mourning was opened at the "Johan Heinrich Pestaloci" Elementary School, attended by Vanja Đorčevski, and crying students, teachers and parents with flowers and bowed heads waited in line to enroll, Macedonian media reported.

The president of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, signed the book of mourning yesterday, and the minister of foreign affairs, Bujar Osmani, expressed his condolences to the family, saying that "this crime will be punished most severely."

For kidnapping and murder, the Criminal Code of North Macedonia stipulates a sentence of at least 10 years to life imprisonment.

"The public rightly demands full transparency and openness. No matter how tragic or gruesome it is, we must face all the motives and details of this case, not only to eliminate numerous speculations and manipulations, but also to give ourselves a chance for social maturation, to educate our children, so that we don't forget," he wrote. Ottomans.

According to the Macedonian media, the main suspect who organized the kidnapping and personally killed the girl, as well as 74-year-old Pance Žežovski, whose body was found in the vicinity of Veles, is Ljupčo Palevski, also known as Palčo.

According to the Macedonian media, Palevski is known to the public for his obscure political views. He is the founder of the right-wing party Desna, the initiator of the weekly newspaper and has his own podcast "Difficult Conversations" in which he spreads conspiracy theories, right-wing and nationalist messages.

He had several misdemeanor charges and one criminal charge, which the MUP is still working on, but there were no special investigative actions against him, Radio Free Europe reported.

Some users of social networks in North Macedonia expressed their indignation yesterday, claiming that the tragedy could have been avoided if the authorities had promptly prosecuted Palevsky for spreading misinformation and hatred on the Internet.

Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski confirmed yesterday that Palevski is the main suspect in both murders. "In both cases, he is the executor, he is the organizer and implementer of the entire action, but also of firing the bullet in both cases," said Spasovski. Palevski, as reported, fled the country. He left for Belgrade, from where he headed towards the border with Bulgaria and crossed, after which all trace of him was lost.

At the press conference yesterday, Spasovski denied that someone in the police "whispered" to Palevsky that he was a suspect in order to escape. At the time he left the country, he was not a suspect at all, Spasovski pointed out.

The statements of those arrested, who witnessed the murders, raise suspicions that also lead to the father of the murdered Vanja Đorčevska, officials said. Those arrested said that they found out from the killer when and where the girl would be, and he knew it exactly according to her father's information. Allegedly, the night before the abduction, they already had details of when Vanja was going to school and that she would be alone.

However, the head of the Skopje prosecutor's office, Gavril Bubevski, said yesterday that, apart from the allegations, there are still no clear indications of the father's role in Vanja's abduction. The father gave a statement to the police, and his relationship with the killer is still being investigated, RSE reported.

Bubevski said that the motive for the murder was self-interest since the girl's mother had an inflow of money from the sale of the apartment and that she probably should have been blackmailed. However, something got out of control and just two and a half hours after the kidnapping, the girl was killed.

"The procedure for extortion has not been initiated. Otherwise, I cannot fully understand their intentions and intelligence, what is logical to someone is illogical to us," said Bubevski.

The interweaving of motives and illogical actions remains "hanging in the air" even for investigators. Despite the journalist's insistence on getting to the truth, there are still unanswered questions in the entire tragic story, RSE reported. Minister Spasovski said that the action was a great success of the police, despite the fact that journalists asked him if it was normal that for several days there was no epilogue about the kidnapping and murder of Žežovski, who disappeared on November 22, that his car was driven around Skopje in order to kidnapped a little girl, which ultimately resulted in her murder.

The Skopje media points out that the Criminal Code of North Macedonia stipulates a penalty of at least 10 years to life imprisonment for kidnapping and murder.

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