The circle is wide and we are all in it

Aleksandra M. Mitevska

Just as the unveiling of the “Racket” scandal has compromised proceedings in the “Empire” case, leaking of businessman Orce Kamchev’s statement has compromised the investigation into a case involving suspected and detained special prosecutor Katica Janeva and the possible connection of officials from the political top. Kamchev is the main suspect in the SPO’s “Empire” case, as Janeva became the third suspect in the “Racket” case of the Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime and Corruption. “Empire” is currently on stand-by, apparently not only influenced by the Supreme Court’s initial (and questionable) legal opinion that it is unlawful for SPO to take or to take over after June 30, 2017, but also that the first suspect became a witness in another case, this time to the regular prosecution. Those suspected of criminal association, damaging or privileging creditors, abuse of power and authority… are now either suspects or under suspicion of abuse of power and authority…
But the vicious circle, which intertwines various political, legal and business interests, through many powerful and influential characters from these spheres that are directly or indirectly related to the two cases, does not end there! As some found it convenient for the “Empire” case, and other cases that the SPO had opened near the end of its glory days to be put aside, some had some found it convenient to entangle the knots even more in the case that has been shaking the political arena for almost two months, but also the judiciary. And thus undermining the credibility that the regular public prosecutor’s office has just begun to regain, due to whose incompetence, bias or unprofessionalism in some not so distant times, and so the SPO was formed.
Now that the “coin” has flipped to the other side and the Special Prosecutor’s Office has been delegitimized, it is certainly appropriate for someone to seize the moment by eroding the credibility and integrity of more institutions in the state, and primarily the Prosecutor General’s Office for organized crime within which Janeva’s team should be integrated. And all of this together with all the materials and evidence collected from the mass wiretapped recordings from 2008 to 2015 and with jurisdiction to continue to deal with the cases arising from these recordings. And instead of Vilma Ruskovska now dealing with the investigation of the “Racket”, which is all about speeding up and getting things resolved, the Organized Crime Prosecutor’s Office needs to spend extra energy on some new investigation into the leak of confidential materials containing witness statements in the “Racket” case.
Kamchev is, in fact, just one of the parties in the case, either as a witness or as a damaged party, since he formally filed the criminal charges of extortion. The famous and controversial businessman is also just one of the parties in the “Empire” case. In both cases, he is certainly not the only one to make a statement to the Organized Crime Prosecution and the SPO. At least for the “Racket” case the public is always informed about who comes in and out of the new Public Prosecutor’s Office building etc.
Therefore, it is not difficult to assume what would happen if all those statements that still under investigation were to be leaked to the public… Especially because the public is not the one who should and can decide on a verdict. Especially not in these moments and in these circumstances when the statements of other witnesses or suspects are not known and one can only guess whether and to what extent they coincide with the statement of the person who reported it. And in a situation where only one page of only one of the statements in the proceedings was actually disclosed, which, according to the information, was opened almost four months ago, which also speaks volumes of the “speed” with which the investigation was conducted. Another thing is that the court, as an institution that ultimately has to rule who, how much and exactly who is guilty and responsible, is also incriminated by part of the statement made public or, more specifically, by the interpretations that have come out of it…
All of these details actually create the mosaic for the “Racket” as a very complex and difficult case for which no improvisations and omissions as the ones like the “accidentally leaked” evidence can be allowed. Because in this case the Special Prosecutor’s gifted furniture is spicy but essentially insignificant compared to the scandal that has already completely destroyed the legitimacy of the once famous and glorified SPO, whose survival is now at stake.
The same case now threatens to erode the credibility of the regular prosecution, as well as of other key institutions, such as the court or the government, thereby threatening any major reforms that, at least normatively – through legal interventions, are have taken over the past two years in the field of justice, which have allowed the country to return to the Euro-Atlantic path. Because, after everything we’ve heard, seen and learned about and about the “Racket” affair, the question arises as to whether and to what extent all of these laws contributed to a real reform in the department that was among the first to be questioned at the time when SDSM’s headquarters on Bihac Street was releasing the so-called “bombs”, and Reinhard Priebe’s team scanned major loopholes and shortcomings in Macedonian institutions. A few years later, the case of Boki 13, Kicheec and Katica appeared as a signal that “what goes around’ come around” and could return the country to its previous state before the formation of the SPO. That is because every new day since the scandal erupts again, the circle for the “Racket” is not small, as the legendary TV show K-15 has said in one of its songs, but it is wide and we are or are all in it. Of course, each in their own way and with their own responsibility – criminal, political or moral.