Sunday, June 22, 2008


Police in Macedonia have charged a journalist with the rape and murder of two women - crimes he reported on for his newspaper.

The journalist, Vlado Taneski, is also being investigated for a third murder, and is being questioned over the disappearance of a fourth woman.

Macedonian police began to suspect him after he included details in his reports that they had not made public.

The crimes happened in Kicevo, a south-western Macedonian town.

Some of the relatives of the victims said they had been visited after the deaths by Mr Taneski, who said he was investigating for his newspaper.

"He came to our home, we talked, he asked for details," said Zoran Temelkoski, son of Zivana Temelkoska, 65, whose body was found earlier this year.

"Who could imagine that it would be our neighbour in the end?"

'Quiet man'

Mr Taneski, 56, was transferred to Tetovo prison on Sunday after a court ordered that he be held in custody for 30 days.

Police allege that he kidnapped and abused the women, in their 50s and 60s, before cutting them into pieces and dumping them in plastic bags.

"He is also suspected of being involved in... [the disappearance of] a 78-year-old female who is still missing," said police spokesman Ivo Kotevski.

"All victims were found naked, strangled, wrapped with phone cables," the spokesman said.

All the women apparently had similarities to the suspect's late mother, with whom he reportedly had a poor relationship.

"All victims were elderly females with poor education who had worked as cleaners. They all were from the same neighbourhood of Kicevo," Mr Kotevski said.

Mr Taneski's editor at the Utrinski Vesnik newspaper told the Associated Press: "We are all shocked with this. I know him as an exceptionally quiet man and I would never believe that he is capable of doing something like that."