“The special public prosecutor is part of the public prosecution’s system and this prosecutor is ultimately responsible before the Parliament, i.e. the citizens from whom he receives his sovereignty. Procedurally, nothing has been done that goes beyond the possibilities stipulated by the Law on Public Prosecution. (…) Everything that is not forbidden by the law is permitted, which also means formation of internal structures is allowed, in order to address the specific current problems. Only a closed mind thinking in a socialist system, in which everything that is not allowed by law is actually forbidden, can see a problem in such an institute,” says professor Mirjana Najchevska.
Author: Aleksandar Pisarev
The trigger activated by the state prosecutor Marco Zvrlevski against the special prosecutor Katica Janeva, proclaiming her election as illegal, and the Special Prosecutor’s Office as a political-partisan institution, was sufficient for pro-government media to unleash a barrage of fire against her and against the institution she was selected to head. Marginalized were all arguments that she was selected in accordance with the agreement of all political parties that participated in the long and arduous talks for the resolution of the political crisis in the country and that her election and the law were adopted by a majority in Parliament.
This smear campaign is also intensified by the initiative submitted by lawyer Tome Todorovski from Sveti Nikole to the Constitutional Court (which was subsequently withdrawn) to assess the constitutionality of the Law on Special Prosecution. Todor Petrov also submitted an initiative to the Constitutional Court.
This gave the pro-government media the green light to openly dispute the election of Katica Janeva and to declare it as unconstitutional, thus also declaring the Special Prosecution (responsible for resolving the eavesdropping affair) as unconstitutional.
This is how the smear campaign against her began, and with an increasing intensity as December 15 gets closer, as the date when, according to her statement, she will begin to review the first cases under her jurisdiction.
Paradoxically, when she was first elected, not only did the pro-government media present the news about her appointment, but there were also attempts to present her positively. Following her first statements that she will seriously approach the review of the cases assigned to her, Zvrlevski began the smear campaign, which is supposed to tarnish her election, person and work, before she even starts working. And even louder and in a panic chorus, referring to the prosecutors lead by him, he said that the election of Janeva was unconstitutional and that it is a political construction and therefore “prosecutors would seek justice from the highest court instance.” (Zvrlevski: The Special Prosecution is a political and parallel creation.”)
Matters in relation to the propaganda against Janeva changed abruptly when the special prosecutor presented her work plan. Since it is more than clear that indictments will be brought against some of the officials heard in the “bombs” of the opposition, this definitely triggered the alarm and was a clear sign for the direction in which the propaganda machine needs to move. Additionally, panic is being created and poisonous arrows are being released: “the first indictments will be announced by Janeva in the period from December 15 to March 15” – the period ahead of the early parliamentary elections. It is an excuse for an attack, since it is more than obvious that the indictments will be brought against some of the officials heard in the “bombs” of the opposition. Although this information is not accurate, because at that time Janeva will only be reviewing the first cases, it definitely triggered the alarm and was a clear sign for the direction in which the propaganda machine needs to move.
The texts that ensued were mere copies created and dictated by a single center of political power. Even their headers and titles are identical, though all of the texts claim to be “exclusive” in challenging her election, and discredit her as a person along with her institution established by a special law adopted in Parliament by an overwhelming majority of votes from both the opposition and the ruling party.
For example, Republika published the following article:
Exclusive: New scandal in the Special Prosecution: Megalomania and politicization by Katica Janeva. Katica Janeva’s special public prosecution has not even started its work yet, but it is already turning into a focal point for negative developments affecting the public.
The same text is published by Netpress, Press24, Republika, Kurir, Denesen, Kanal 5:
Mega scandal consisting of several scandals! Katica Janeva’s Special Public Prosecution slowly but surely transforms into a focal point for negative developments affecting the public and tarnishing the reputation of this institution.
Aside from exclusive articles, Kurir also published a series of articles against Katica Janeva, under the common title “Scandal” and emphasized that:
For all these reasons, almost all prosecutors working in the Public Prosecution vigorously reacted to these self-absorbed statements of the special prosecutor.
Aside from using same titles and texts, these propaganda articles are not being signed by the author, which confirms that they are released by a certain center for communications, and point to the ruling party according to their provenance, because without even carefully reading them it is obvious that there hasn’t been an editorial intervention in any of them, which would make them distinguishable. This clearly indicates that the texts are a “journalistic product” dictated by a single center and that the media, i.e. their editors, publishing and republishing the texts, are not allowed to intervene in the text. Accordingly, it is clear that the center sending and ordering these texts is close to the government.
The media began using “expert” opinions, conveying their “reference opinions” that support the government. Once again, the same media close to the ruling party, publish the same texts, with the same titles, without a signature of the author and serve those texts to the readers in the form of an expert opinion. (Latas: Special Public Prosecution is unconstitutional).
The Special Public Prosecution should be a sector, a department within the public prosecutor’s office, otherwise it’s unconstitutional, says the editor of the Sitel TV news, Dragan Pavlovic Latas.
The attackers are no longer satisfied only with domestic “experts” so they are finding like-minded “experts” from the neighboring countries, experts that no one has ever heard about, to defend the same thesis that the election of Katica Janeva is unconstitutional. Julijana Kenig, a municipal prosecutor in Velika Gorica in Croatia, who is not living in Macedonia since 1990, is not an expert on constitutional or international law, is openly advising that we are in “a catastrophic situation because our Constitution has been violated” in an in-depth, obviously solicited interview. From a position of an “expert” in an interview with Dnevnik, she says:
The establishment of a special public prosecutor’s office as a legal authority for criminal prosecution parallel with the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Macedonia, is an unconstitutional and contradictory solution. The Constitution does not stipulate a possibility to form a special public prosecutor’s office, and therefore its constitutionality needs to be reassessed.
PRESSURE ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
The smear campaign against Katica Janeva and the Special Prosecution Office is obvious pressure on the Constitutional Court to declare the Special Prosecution Office as an unconstitutional institution, or at the very least, to have such an interpretation constantly hanging over Katica Janeva’s head as the sword of Damocles.
How and why an “expert” from Croatia appears can be explained through the proverb “I’m disciplining my child, but everyone else should listen and learn from it”. Maybe Juliana Kenig wants to also teach the domestic expert public in Croatia that it would not be good if Croatia considers the establishment of a Special Prosecution Office. She is therefore concerned and says:
Although she is neither thoroughly familiarized with the reasons for the political crisis in the country, nor with the reasons why the international community had to intervene and mediate in the establishment of the special prosecution and the election of the special prosecutor, this neighborhood guest expert “defends” Macedonia’s constitutional order by declaring the election of Janeva as unconstitutional and detrimental to the Macedonian state and society.
Professor Ljubomir Frckovski believes that by spreading these kinds of stereotypes against Janeva, the government and its media clearly mark her as a target for future attacks as well, that are likely to continue in the upcoming period. This kind of experts and commentators-interpreters of the Law on Special Prosecution, and of the persona and work of the special prosecutor are identified as “ad hominem” in legal science – they don’t have the power of arguments, their evidence is not logical and they are directed towards disqualification.
Simply put – they are actually saying “The law is not good and the election of Katica Janeva is not good because she is a little chubby, and we don’t like chubby people”.
In our current situation, the person giving comments and assessments is not relevant and qualified to do so, due to the simple reason that they are not familiar with the type of the crisis the country is in and that the corrupt institutions are in the center of the crisis themselves, creating parallel institutions in the system for which the international community assessed that they must be circumvented, without it being unconstitutional. It would be unconstitutional if they imposed the abolishment of all the other institutions. These types of anonymous experts are yet to appear in newspapers qualified as tabloids, because such types of media are not predisposed to work with prominent experts, so they simply complement each other,” said professor Ljubomir Frckovski.
Prof. Mirjana Najchevska does not believe that the attacks are directed against Katica Janeva. She is quite acceptable for all the political parties.
I believe the attacks are directed against the idea for a special prosecutor that would persecute special crimes. We must not allow an absence of criticism towards the special prosecutor though. However, the denial of the need for the existence of a special prosecutor and declaring it unconstitutional is definitely a product of the ruling VMRO-DPMNE. I expect the denial to intensify with the possible initiation of cases related to specific people (especially if they are senior officials in the current government). However, we must not confuse this with critical analyses that are necessary and can prevent misuse of the institution, said Najchevska.
According to Najchevska, the special public prosecutor is not unconstitutional.
The special public prosecution is part of a political compromise. The compromise is not to establish a public prosecution outside of the system, but not to dismiss from office the current Attorney General and most of the current public prosecutors. Namely, all reports indicate major disruptions in the judicial system, corruption in the public prosecutor’s office, abuse of office and misapplication of the law. The special public prosecutor is part of the public prosecution’s system. He is ultimately responsible before the Parliament, i.e. the citizens from whom he draws his sovereignty. In a procedural sense, nothing that goes beyond the possibilities stipulated by the Law on Public Prosecution has been done. This law prohibits the establishment of specified structures (which was already done with the establishment of a public prosecutor’s office for monitoring organized crime). Everything that is not forbidden by the law is permitted, which also means formation of internal structures is allowed, in order to address the specific current problems. Only a closed mind thinking in a socialist system, in which everything that is not allowed by law is actually forbidden, can see a problem in such an institute”. Various task forces are established within various institutions when a certain situation requires it, and no one considers this to be unconstitutional, says Najchevska.