30-day detention for Katica Janeva in the Shutka prison

The chief Special Public Prosecutor Katica Janeva, who can be heard in recordings released by La Verità telling a suspected businessman that ‘everything’s going to be OK’, is now one of the three suspects in the extortion case, commonly referred to as the “Racket” case.

Janeva has been ordered a 30-day detention by the Criminal Court in Skopje on charges of abuse of office to pursue a private gain. She was taken to the Shutka late on Wednesday. On Thursday she would be allowed to attend her mother’s funeral, who passed away yesterday.

Bojan Jovanovski and Zoki Kicheec, the first two suspected extortionists, have been in detention for over a month.

The chief special prosecutor was detained Wednesday afternoon at her home in Skopje, which was searched by police. Her home in Gevgelija and her office were also searched on order issued by prosecutors. Many items, mainly furniture, were confiscated from her home in Skopje and her office computer was also seized by authorities.

Shortly after news broke of Janeva’s arrest, State Public Prosecutor Ljubomir Joveski and the Head of the Public Prosecution for Organized Crime and Corruption, Vilma Ruskovska held a news conference.

Based on evidence collected so far, Joveski said, there are grounds to expand the investigation into Janeva’s role in the affair. “She is suspected of abuse of office to pursue a private gain, believed to be in amount of 290,000 denars (about 4,705 euros) by using her influence in a proceeding against a suspect in the Empire case,” he said.

Reading a statement on the latest developments in relation to the Racket case, government spokesman Muamet Hoxha said it was being confirmed that ‘no one is above the law.’

“The government urges a thorough and independent investigation, as swift as possible, to reveal all details in the case. It will in no way allow the case to be misused to hinder the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration efforts,” he noted.

Holding a news conference on the heels of Janeva’s arrest, VMRO-DPMNE spokesman Dimche Arsovski accused the Public Prosecutor’s Office of having no intention to fully resolve the Racket case. “Janeva is a nothing more than a link in the chain of organized crime and corruption… The Public Prosecutor’s Office has had the evidence, including video footage, for four months that clearly show the involvement in extortion not only of the two perpetrators, but also of those who had orchestrated the political-prosecution-media octopus,” he told the news conference.