The US Embassy in Macedonia informed the public that the United States have placed disgraced former Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva and the Mayor of Karpos Stevco Jakimovski on their black list.

Today’s designations of former Special Chief Prosecutor Katica Janeva and current presidential candidate and mayor Stevco Jakimovski should not come as a surprise to anyone. The United States will continue to name officials of any party, branch of government, or community engaged in significant corruption. The people of (North) Macedonia deserve justice and accountability from their institutions to stop the tide of criminal behavior and to stem the cancer of corruption, the Embassy said in a statement attributed to Ambassador Angela Aggeler.

Janeva’s black-listing officially puts an end to the US supported program to “restore faith in the rule of law” in Macedonia, that began with the publication of illegally obtained wiretaps by the SDSM party in 2015. This sparked the so-called Colored Revolution, during which the US and a number of European countries strongly pushed for the appointment of Janeva to a new powerful role of Special Prosecutor. Janeva moved quickly to put forward politically motivated criminal charges against the top officials of the ruling VMRO-DPMNE party, helping SDSM grab power in 2017. SDSM moved forward with the forced renaming of Macedonia, which brought the country into NATO but failed to open the EU accession process, provoked a new dispute with Bulgaria and greatly expanded the influence of the Albanian political parties in Macedonia.

Janeva was herself exposed as abusing her power, not only with the politically driven charges against VMRO-DPMNE, but also with extortion aimed at businessmen who she was prosecuting “on the side”. After businessman Jordan Orce Kamcev revealed evidence of her extortion, she was herself charged with racketeering and sentenced to seven years in prison in 2020 – she was only released under a work program earlier this year – she is allowed to work in her son’s law office, but has to spend the nights in jail. Her accomplices offered to testify how the millions they extorted were eventually given to then SDSM leader and Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, but the court refused to hear the evidence they offered. Polls show that, after the Colored Revolution and the SDSM reign of almost eight years, trust in the judiciary is measured in low single digits, and any mention that the Western countries are interested in restoring justice and the rule of law in Macedonia is met with mockery.

In her official capacity as former (North) Macedonia Special Chief Prosecutor, Janeva was involved in corrupt acts, including using her political influence and official power for personal benefit. There is credible information Janeva solicited and accepted a bribe to influence a prosecution under her purview, the State Department said in a statement.

As for Jakimovski, he is accused of being involved in “corrupt acts, including using his official position to interfere with urban development and procurement processes to benefit himself and his associates”. Jakimovski has changed party allegiances often, from the liberals, to SDSM, to being affiliated with VMRO-DPMNE and eventually turning his back on VMRO to become associated with DUI party real-estate construction interests. He announced a presidential run that was seen as a DUI funded attempt to take votes from VMRO-DPMNE in the coming elections, along with another turn-coat, Skopje Mayor Danela Arsovska.

The decision bars Janeva, Jakimovski, her husband and son, and his two sons from entering the United States.