"Macedonian president was dead before plane crashed"

A draft report about the 2004 plane crash in which Macedonian President Boris Trajkoviski lost his life states the victims were dead before the aircraft fell.

Source: Beta

The draft was handed to the Macedonian authorities by Omer Kulic, who chairs an international commission that investigated the crash.

The Skopje-based daily Vesti is reporting, citing unofficial information, that the draft states the eight persons aboard the plane lost their lives in an explosion.

One victim, in charge of Trajkovski's security, died from falling and sustaining fractures after he was thrown out of the plane by the blast, the document reportedly said.

The commission worked on the case for two years, and submitted its findings to the authorities in Skopje on Thursday. The content of the report will be officially published "in 20 days."

Skopje will be able to submit its opinion during this time, and it would be added to the final report.

While in Skopje, Kulic announced that the recording of the entire flight will be published then, including the cockpit conversations.

The investigation cost some EUR 160,000, while some parts of the wreckage were examined in a center for aircraft accident investigations in Germany.

Trajkovski was Macedonia's second president since the former Yugoslav republic declared independence. He died on February 26, 2004, while en route to an international conference in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The King Air plane crashed near the town of Mostar.

The original investigation conducted by Bosnia and Macedonia said that the plane crashed due to pilot error while on approach to the Mostar airport that was under thick fog at the time. That report said the crew "deviated from the landing procedures, after previously informing air traffic control that they accepted the landing procedures."

In 2006, the Macedonian Interior Ministry said the investigation would not be closed "while there is the slightest doubt as to what caused the accident."

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