A panel of public prosecutors in Macedonia have voted to terminate the mandate of prosecutors from the Special Prosecution Service after their chief, Katica Janeva, who is in custody for involvement in an extortion case, was dismissed by the Macedonian parliament on Saturday.
After the session, President of the Public Prosecutors’ Council Aco Kolevski stated that prosecutors of the Special Prosecution should return to their home prosecutor’s offices, where their posts remained dormant after the establishment of the Special Prosecutor’s Office to investigate a wiretapping case from the previous government of Nikola Gruevski.
Last Saturday, 102 of a total of 120 MPs voted in favour of dismissing Janeva, for unlawful, unprofessional and reckless conduct in relation to her suspected role in extorting money from a Macedonian businessman in exchange for a lenient sentence in his corruption case.
Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi then submitted the proposal to fire Janeva to the Council of Public Prosecutors, who unanimously voted in favour of her dismissal at an extraordinary session on Saturday, Radio Free Europe’s North Macedonian service reports.
“At today’s session, the Public Prosecutors’ Council unanimously decided to dismiss Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva for unprofessional, unlawful and negligent conduct,” said Aco Kolevski, President of the Public Prosecutors’ Council, after the session.
State Prosecutor Ljubomir Joveski has announced that investigations into the Racket case will continue, but it is not yet determined who will lead it.
Janeva was arrested on charges of criminal association in August 22, one day after she testified as a witness in the so-called “Racket” case, after an Italian newspaper released secret recordings of phone calls between businessman Jordan Kamcev and media mogul Bojan Jovanovsky. On the phone call, Jovanovski offers to pull strings with Janeva to show leniency in a prison sentence kamcev is facing over corruption charges.
The scandal has dealt a blow to the anti-corruption bureau, set up during a political crisis in 2015 to address corruption cases.
It also threatens to ruin the success of the government, which has negotiated with Greece the change of its name from Macedonia to North Macedonia, and hopes to start accession negotiations with the European Union soon.