When a special prosecutor is called in to clean up and legally enforce change in an entire country’s system, you would expect that person to live by the values and words that he or she defends in the courts every day. Unfortunately, these expectations do not ring true in the case of Macedonia’s Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva.
The Special Prosecutor’s Office was formed last summer as part of an agreement between political parties in the small Balkan country. The SPO is meant to investigate officials without taking sides in the political rift, and yet clearly, this aim is not being fulfilled by the very people meant to enforce it. Instead the SPO is focusing all her attention against the VMRO DPMNE ruling party.
To Ms. Janeva, being an independent prosecutor means dismissing two deputy prosecutors who allegedly refused to follow her political will. It means threatening the citizens of Macedonia or, according to local reports, it means attempting to bribe them into giving false statements about other officials. What’s more, she employs her own relatives at her offices – using the argument that it strengthens her team – and the government subsequently pays the salaries of her family members.
Rather than living by the law that she so artfully defends and allegedly champions, Ms. Janeva instead represents the very corruption she is supposed to combat.
Before throwing attacks and charges against others under the guise of a defending the legal system, the special prosecutor should perhaps look in the mirror and practice what she preaches.
Katica Janeva is not doing the work of the people. She is not acting as an independent prosecutor, the very job she was selected to do. Rather, she is abusing her power and discrediting the office and the public trust that she has sworn to defend. She is tarnishing the entire judicial system by taking the law into her own hands.
Through her actions and blatant disregard for the law, Ms. Janeva is polarizing her office, doing the work of the opposition party, and simply pushing their agenda. This is not justice; it is politics, and that can be understood by the public in any language, in any country.
These abuses of power cannot continue in the SPO.
The people of Macedonia were finally given a chance to trust their government when the Special Prosecutor’s Office was created. Under Katica Janeva, this trust has been violated. Rather than the professional, non-polarized, and independent institution it was intended to be, the SPO is simply a biased and political vessel for Ms. Janeva to act against the public’s best interests. The SPO is undermining the expectations and the long-awaited trust of the public and pushing Macedonia in the wrong direction.
Adam Ereli is former U.S. ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain and State Department deputy spokesman.
The views expressed by authors are their own and not the views of The Hill.