A journalist feud erupted between two of the biggest supporters of the SDSM party and its Colored Revolution today, over disgraced Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva and her abuse of office and racketeering scandal.
The fight includes journalist Branko Geroski, who turned on Zoran Zaev, SDSM and Katica Janeva and published much of the initial reports alleging that the Government is deeply corrupt and is extorting money from businessmen using Janeva’s power to persecute whoever she wants. And in the other corner is Saso Ordanoski, who remained loyal to Janeva throughout the scandal, although he took a few months long vacation from the public arena during the height of the scandal. Ordanoski fired the first shot in the morning when he published an editorial in Civilmedia – one of the many pro-SDSM news sites funded by international diplomatic representatives in Macedonia. In it, Ordanoski speculates that Geroski has ulterior motives in publishing his reports about Katica Janeva and all but accuses Geroski of being paid by businessman Jordan Orce Kamcev – who was the main victim of Janeva’s extortion.
This narrative pushed by my dear colleague, that the businessman was extorted by three associates of the Prime Minister, was accepted by the prosecutors. My dear colleague begins the scandal from the point when Kamcev provides video and audio materials to back his version. And the public is pushed to see the scandal only through this tunnel vision. Everybody who thinks otherwise must be explicitly or implicitly involved in extortion. The mob rule is heating up. Roy Bean is looking for a tree where to hang the racketeers and their associates, Ordanoski complained about seeing Janeva and those around her pressured by Geroski and her rival prosecutors.
In his editorial, Ordanoski acknowledges that there is audio and video evidence against Janeva that also mentions top Government officials, but insists that it is inadmissible in court – in a supreme act of irony given how Katica Janeva built her career and propelled Zoran Zaev to power using precisely this type of evidence against Zaev’s political opponents. Ordanoski insists that the money that were extorted were not found, save for a number of luxury items found with Janeva and her assocaites Boki 13 and Zoki Kicheec.
The key charges rely on the testimony of the victim, the defendants and their witnesses. The court, it seems, will have to choose who to trust . And as the public is fully excluded from the case, we get the impression that the prosecutors will conduct public mobbing of the court (and the public) in order to influence its final decision and have it based on impressions and not on evidence, Ordanoski says, demanding that any attempt to involve Zaev in the case will have to be based on much firmer evidence (than the evidence used by Janeva against Nikola Gruevski, presumably).
Geroski quickly responded, declaring that the responsibility for the extortion clearly does not end with Katica Janeva, Boki 13 and Zoki Kicheec.
At the start, let’s point out that Zoran Zaev publicly, on a number of occassions, declared himself as the person who first reported the Racket scandal and that the prosecutors initiated the case at least a month before my initial writing based on his testimony. Therefore it is a lie that the prosecutors were acting on a narrative I built. I did not expect to see Ordanoski slander me that I’ve taken on the assignment to make the scandal public. That is very low of him. Unlike him, who undertook the assignment to defend Katica Janeva and Zoran Zaev from this shameful scandal (I won’t dare say that he was given the assignment by someone else), I will not act as a judge, prosecutor or investigator. My task is to share the information I receive with the public and the prosecutors are free to investigate based on what I write, or ignore me, Geroski replied.
The feud between these two journalists, who were outspoken in their support of Zaev, Janeva and the Colored Revolution just a few years ago, comes as the trial is about to begin early next month, just as the election campaign is heating up. Geroski warns Ordanoski that the “Racket case is not closed – on the contrary, we will yet see new, scandalous and compromising aspedcts of the case which will likely not support Saso Ordanoski’s claims that Katica is innocent, but may show that there are others even more guilty than here. Much more guilty, and much higher up in the Government”.
As soon as the argument cleared, a number of news sites reported how Ordanoski was funded directly by Janeva’s Special Prosecutor’s Office. According to the reports, he collected 255.000 denars (3.700 EUR) from the Special Prosecutor’s Office, in eight payments made in 2008, reported the Kanal 5 television. Ordanoski worked for the 1TV station at the time, a television owned by Bojan Jovanovski – Boki 13, which was allegedly used to extort money from businessmen pressed by Janeva via overpriced ad buys. Ordanoski was also named in another recent scandal, as his brother Vanco Ordanoski received a grant worth 210.000 EUR from the Innovation Fund for an allegedly bogus innovation.