The lawyer for the Cepunjoski family requested the British citizens Nicholas Morley to be acquitted from the charge of causing a traffic accident in which Vladimir and Margica Cepunjoski were killed.At the trial that opened today in Struga Court, the lawyer Gjoko Tomovski also gave up any claim to compensation .

He conveyed the position of the victims' family that "the defendant did not cause the accident on purpose and he himself had his share of suffering from the tragedy".

In his statement before the Court, Nicholas Morley, 30, a businessman from Manchester pleaded not guilty to charges and said he felt sorry for the lost lives.

He further said that he did not exceed the speed limit of 60km/h and obeyed the traffic signs.

Morley sighted the Chepunjoski spouses' car at about 10 to 15 meters distance. According to the Briton, Vladimir Cepunjoski, who was driving a Golf car, failed to halt his vehicle at the STOP sign posted at an intersection. Morley tried to avoid the collision by turning to the left, but unfortunately he did not manage to hit the brakes fast enough and he crashed his Porsche into the Golf.

Morley added that the incident left him in a state of shock, however, he had no intention to flee the country, but to report the accident at the Qafasan border crossing.

The Briton denied he was a millionaire, claiming that he owns an asset worth about 30.000 euros and a Volkswagen car.

MD: Also a Malcolm Moore who is in Struga has been sending us his comments on the trial, you can read them by clicking on the comments tab below.


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Gumball driver's trial is political, says family

By Malcolm Moore, in Struga
Last Updated: 2:10am BST 05/06/2007

The family of the British driver on trial in Macedonia for causing death by dangerous driving yesterday said the judge in the case was being pressured politically to convict him.

British driver Nicholas Morley

Nicholas Morley, 30, crashed his Porsche 911 into the side of a Volkswagen Golf while competing in the Gumball Rally, a pan-European race.

The accident led to the deaths of Vladimir Cepulyoski, 67, and his wife, Margarita. If he is convicted he faces at least three years in prison, although he may be able to serve his time in Britain.

Yesterday, the court in Struga chose not to hear an expert witness from TRL, the company that reconstructed the crash that led to the death of Diana Princess of Wales. The expert found Mr Morley could not have avoided the crash, even though he was travelling at a moderate speed.

Nikolai Dodevski, the head of the defence team, said: "It is unbelievable that the judge has not accepted our expert. It looks as if he made his decision yesterday before he heard our plea. "It is important to note that the judge refused to explain his decision."

In their first interview since Mr Morley was arrested, Pamela and Daniella Morley, his mother and sister, said that the court had been politically motivated.

"The prime minister of Macedonia even said it was a good thing that he had been captured," said Daniella. "We have appealed for bail several times and been refused."

They said that Mr Morley was not being ill-treated, but that he was locked up for 23 hours a day and had to exercise by running up and down the prison stairs. They denied reports that Mr Morley was a millionaire.

Mrs Morley said the British Embassy had not done enough to secure his release. "It has been a living nightmare, but we won't stop. Nick was not culpable but he is going to have to carry this with him," she added.

Dr Richard Lambourn, the analyst at TRL, found that the forensic evidence prepared by the prosecution contained "calculations without any physical or mathematical basis" and warned that it had "very little merit" and could "seriously mislead" the court.

Dr Lambourn worked in accident reconstruction at the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory in London for 27 years. He rejected claims from the prosecution that Mr Morley was travelling at 161 km/h (100mph) when the crash occurred.

Instead, he said that Mr Morley was driving at 70 to 75 km/h (44-47mph) and that he could only have avoided hitting Mr Cepulyoski if he had been driving at less than 50 km/h (31mph).

Today(6th June) I witnessed the most serious example of Miscarriage of
Justice it is possible to imagine in the court at Struga in Macedonia and
the trial of Nicholas Morley.The defence lawyers destroyed the so called
''expert'' who had earlier claimed Morley was travelling at 100 mph, thus
enabling the prosecutor to press the hugely onerous charge of Reckless
Driving. The courts so called expert ,who in evidence admitted he was
unemployed, and who some locals said was in fact just a part time self
taught guy, admitted he used his own secret formula to calculate accident
speeds but could not or would not tell the court what it was based on. The
destruction of his evidence was embarrassing and complete and I could not
believe that he did not stand up and withdraw from the trial.The man had as
much expert credibility as a garbage collector practising brain surgery.
THEN to make the disgrace even worse the Court twice refused to allow the 2
experts for the defence to give their evidence, or for it to be ever
considered by the Court, and mysteriously gave no reason for such refusal.
One of these experts was the world renowned scientist who investigated
Princess Diana's death crash and he had painstakingly reconstructed the
accident judging the unfortunate dead driver to be totally responsible for
failing to Stop at a Halt and directly entering Morley's path only 30
metres in front of him. He established Morley's speed at only 45mph. This
was confirmed in Court by the man's own daughter who publicly declared that
she was satisfied that Morley was not guilty.
The Court also refused the defence request to review the pathologist reports
on the two unfortunate victims to see whether they had died as a result of
high speed impact, had been wearing seat belts, had been in a roadworthy
car, had some other fatal disorder pending!
I shudder to think how this Court can expect to dispense Justice when every
tenet of accepted legal practice is being so blatantly ignored.
How can this country expect to be able to join the EU when it's local Courts
can be run with such total disregard for normal standards of legal
proceedure and human rights.
I pray for Morley! He was instantly judged guilty by the worlds press
before anyone even asked him what really happened that sad day!

Nicholas Morley car accident,Macedonia,May 2nd 2007

• According to two expert crash investigators, the vehicle driven by Nicholas Morley was travelling at no more than 47mph (76kph) at the time of the accident

• The initial accident investigation was carried out by a professional Macedonian investigator. His findings were reviewed and confirmed by Dr Richard Lambourn, an established expert in the field

• Dr Lambourn was an accident reconstruction specialist at the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory for 23 years (1973-1996) and is currently a principal consultant at TRL, an independent, not-for-profit transport research firm and consultancy. It was the firm that reconstructed the car crash that caused the death of Diana, Princess of Wales

• The cause of the crash was a second vehicle pulling out of a minor road without warning and into Nicholas’s path. The cause of the crash has not been disputed by the prosecution

• According to the defence expert witnesses, Nicholas had 1.6 seconds to respond to the second car’s sudden appearance, causing him to react reflexively and swerve violently to the left. The defence experts concluded that the accident would have been unavoidable at 30mph (50kph)

• The court declined to hear the evidence of the defence expert witnesses, although the testimony of the prosecution expert witness was heard

• Macedonia is party to the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 6 of which provides a detailed right to a fair trial. Under the Macedonian Criminal Code, the defence has a right to submit evidence

• The prosecution’s accident investigator is not a professional in this field. He admitted in court that he is currently unemployed. He further admitted in court that the police sketch of the crash site on which he based his findings is inaccurate

• Dr Lambourn concluded that the accident investigation report relied on by the prosecution is “fundamentally flawed in its physical and mathematical reasoning.” He further concluded that it was “quite impossible” that Nicholas’s car was travelling at the 100mph (161kph) alleged by the prosecution

• The family of the Mr and Mrs Cepunjoski, who were tragically killed in the crash, have called for the court to release Nicholas

• Following the accident, Nicholas and his passenger, Matthew McConville, attempted to disentangle the vehicles and offer what assistance they could. They only left the scene after the injured persons had left the scene in local vehicles. Nicholas and Matthew then travelled to the border to alert the police

• Nicholas Morley and Matthew McConville spoke to the investigating judge at Qafasan, on the Macedonia/Albania border

• Nicholas Morley did not try to flee the country. He was released on bail, with no conditions or restrictions attached. He was free to leave the country

• Nicholas Morley, 30, is not a millionaire; he does not work in property

5 Justice
Jun 9th, 2007 at 10:36 am
If you use the attached link you can also find a video link which shows the court proceedings as Nicholas Morley is freed.
If you play this there is an interesting shot of the 2 cars as they finally ended up alongside the road.
In my humble opinion the Porsche is so close to the road as to have only been travelling relatively slowly at time of the crash.
I also know from Nicholas Morley ( having spoken to both him and Matt) that neither of the 2 passengers in the VW were wearing ( mandatory in Macedonia) seat belts when they pulled them out of the stricken vehicle after the crash.
I also know that there was a telegraph pole which was knocked down by the VW as it slid off the road which probably caused that car to crumple.


Or check out the video directly at


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