Leave Katica hanging…

Leave Katica hanging…
Aleksandra M. Mitevska

There is an old satirical song, from the last decades of the previous century, called "Leave Pedro hanging." Its point is to show that for all the problems in a collective or society there is always someone to blame. In the song, which was created on the territory of former Yugoslavia, this main culprit was called Pedro. In the current Macedonian political and judicial cases, more precisely not as current as they are long-term - that is, since the beginning of 2015, it can be said that the main culprit is called Katica Janeva.

By mid-2015, the not-so-famous prosecutor from Gevgelija suddenly found herself in the epicenter of the then political crisis in the country, when, out of so many candidates for a special public prosecutor - including many well-known names from the judicial community, first VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM , then followed by DUI and DPA, chose her name. The agreement on the formation of the SPO and the election of Janeva was the crown of the Prizino Agreement, which was difficult to create in times of maximum distorted credibility and legitimacy of the then government, whose methods of governance were completely unmasked and delegitimized by the so-called "bombs" that resonated from Bihac Street.

Nevertheless, VMRO-DPMNE continued to hold all the power levers in its hands, with strong installations in the judiciary and in the prosecution, which could also be heard from the so-called "bombs". Therefore, at that time, the ruling party did not have such a difficult time to deal with the special public prosecutor and her team - whether it did it through the Council of Public Prosecutors or through judges in the Criminal Court or in the Skopje Appeal, where all requests for detentions or acceleration of proceedings were dropped, despite the very "juicy" allegations and evidence presented at the press conferences of the popular female trio in the SPO.

This was so until the winds of change in the political scene brought a change in the style of behavior and the actions of some of the holders of judicial power in the country. When the SPO cases suddenly started to get attention, so that former high-ranking officials, mainly VMRO-DPMNE, began to walk in and out almost every day through the corridors and the Skopje unit courtrooms, Janeva started becoming the main culprit for all turbulence in the current opposition party. But also for all the blockades of the political processes in the country, part of which SDSM was compelled to solve through the SPO - in the period of time when it was supposed to enter political bargains to secure additional votes in the Parliament. All these forced involvements of the SPO in political games eventually affected the credibility of the institution, which in the meantime had its term for filing new charges expire.

Although nearly two years have passed since the day of the term for new charges expired, the period in which it seemed like mission impossible to provide a two-thirds majority for the extension of the expired deadline, it is becoming more and more evident now that the mission of the SPO has not been completed. Especially if one takes into account that in the drawers of Janeva, Fetai, Bubevski or Lape and the rest of the special prosecutors there were still a lot of so-called "bombs" and cases that only reached investigation. That is why now the government is in a hurry to resolve the status of this institution in order to meet the EU criteria before the decision on starting the accession talks.

But given the current distribution of forces in the parliamentary arena, resolving the status of the SPO becomes feasible only with the dismissal of Janeva. At least this is how the opposition leader Hristijan Mickoski implies the clearing of his party's dark past - by locking up the materials from the wiretapped conversations in a drawer. And with a different special prosecutor who will not care much about the cases of his predecessors, but will deal with some new high-profile cases of corruption. Indeed, such a scenario would probably be convenient for DUI, with the difference that this party, however, shows greater constructiveness when it is necessary to meet the Euro-Atlantic perspectives of the country.

In truth, Mickoski is not personally affected by the cases of the SPO. But all this time, he never once distanced himself from the policies of his predecessor, which led to the establishment of this prosecution, with international support. However, according to Mickoski's logic, Janeva probably should end up like her colleague Laura Kovesi, who, although received international recognition of the battle against corruption in Romania from 2006 onwards, eventually lost the battle with the domestic political powers and was later dismissed. Although it was very popular among Romanians, as was the SPO in the country during the Colorful Revolution, Kovesi gained many enemies among politicians whom she prosecuted for crime and corruption. Janeva is facing something very similar right now.

Another thing is that with the possible shift of the team that was selected to clear up the affair with the massive wiretapping and all the corruption-criminal scandals that resulted from it, the further functioning of the SPO would in fact be meaningless, ie it would not justify the purpose for which it was formed. Therefore, SDSM, as the main ruling party, is now facing a difficult dilemma - whether it should accept the "indecent proposal" by VMRO-DPMNE in order to secure the required majority and thus put to question all previous cases arising from the wiretapping scandal; or reject the proposal to change the top of this prosecutor's office and again look for other ways to secure a two-thirds majority that will allow the SPO to go on working on its primary goal? Of course, the second option is much more difficult to do, but it's far more righteous!