A young woman and her two pals who fatally attacked a professional handball player after a row at a nightclub have been jailed for a total of 52 years.
Defendants Klementina Lefkovska, 19, and Angelo Gjorgjievski, 28, were jailed for 18 years while their pal Andrej Kostovski, 22, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the attack on Croatian handball player Denis Tot, 27.
The 27-year-old man from the town of Djakovo, located in the region of Slavonia, Croatia, reportedly played for Handball Club Butel Skopje, from North Macedonia before the tragic incident.
He was supposedly the offenders’ friend prior to the incident.
All four of them were reportedly partying together in the “Privilege” nightclub in the city of Skopje, before the fatal beating occurred on 7th April.
But after Tot and Gjorgjievski engaged in a heated argument that supposedly involved Lefkovska, the three Macedonians began to attack the Croatian native.
A video taken by surveillance cameras shows the offenders punching and kicking the handball player several times before he fell and hit his head on the pavement.
The trio then continued beating the unconscious man before getting a cab and fleeing the scene without calling for help.
Tot was transferred to the Emergency Unit at the “Mother Teresa” Clinical Centre after a nightclub employee saw him lying on the asphalt and immediately called an ambulance.
He had reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest and a brain contusion, while his tongue was reportedly cut due to the impact of the fall.
He also had a severe spinal cord injury, according to media.
The 27-year-old man was reportedly connected to a breathing apparatus following his admission to the hospital, but died the next day after being unable to withstand the injuries.
A statement issued by the Public Prosecutor’s Office said: “After a short argument, all three of them inflicted several blows and severe physical injuries on him, after which the victim first fell into a comatose state, and the next day he died.”
Meanwhile, the police arrested Lefkovska and Kostovski, and issued an international arrest warrant against Gjorgjievski who allegedly attempted to flee abroad, but turned himself in shortly after.
During the trial at the Basic Criminal Court – Skopje, the defendants were sentenced to a total of 52 years in prison on Wednesday, 30th November 2022.
In addition, they will also have to pay about EUR 500,000 (GBP 430,000) compensation to Tot’s family within the next six months.
The defendants strongly opposed the verdict and claimed they would appeal it through their lawyers.
Lefkovska said: “This is not murder!”
Kostovski then added: “My hands are clean before God, I have not killed anyone. My conscience is clear. It’s for the sake of the public, we know under what circumstances, don’t worry mom, everything is fine.”
The handball player’s family expressed gratitude to the Macedonian judiciary and said: “We are addressing you on the occasion of yesterday’s decision of the court in Skopje, by which the perpetrators of the crime of aggravated murder were sentenced to several years in prison.
“This way the family of the deceased Tot wants to thank the competent authorities of the prosecution of North Macedonia, the Court, the competent state attorney’s office and the police for their actions so far.”