Macedonia ex-PM convicted in arms scandal

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — A court in Macedonia has sentenced former Prime Minister Vlado Buckovski to three years in prison in an arms scandal that cost the government an estimated 2 million euros ($2.6 million).

The court upheld a 2008 conviction Monday in a retrial of the original case.

The 50-year-old Buckovski was convicted of ordering excessive quantities of tank parts while he served as defense minister during an armed conflict with ethnic Albanian rebels in 2001. A former chief of general staff and a businessman were also sentenced to three years, while two other former Defense Ministry officials got two years each. Buckovski and the other defendants were freed pending appeals.

Buckovski served as defense minister in 2001 and 2002-2004 and as prime minister in 2004-2006.

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