Former EU intermediary in the 2015 political crisis in Macedonia, Belgian politician Peter Vanhoutte, came out in defense of Katica Janeva, insisting that she is being removed from office because she got to somebody powerful and important.

Reading what is going on with the Office of the Special Prosecutor in North Macedonia, I can only conclude that Rule of Law is going down the drain at high speed again. Whatever might have happened in the Office of the Special Prosecutor, it is important to stop all speculations and allow the regular prosecution to do its work. In case there is abuse of power, the people who where involved in it should be convicted. But stop the rumors! Analyzing what is happening, my first question is: why is this suddenly coming to the surface? Who is behind it? Did Katica Janeva probably touch certain people who believed they were untouchable and above the law? In reply to the question “who has an interest in this happening”, I could provide a long list with names, but this will not help the country forward. One thing however is clear: the politicians messed it up completely, Vanhoutte wrote on his Facebook account.

The Belgian was greatly supportive of Katica Janeva as she was appointed to investigate the 2015 wiretapping scandal and insisted that she will restore the rule of law in Macedonia. Vanhoutte was removed from his position after he became openly supportive of the SDSM party.

Janeva is now suspected in the Boki 13 scandal, where a showman allegedly extorted 1.5 million EUR from one of the richest Macedonians, Jordan Orce Kamcev, in exchange for a promise that Janeva will drop the money laundering and tax evasion charges she filed against Kamcev. Janeva is still not charged in the case, but it’s widely reported that she was coordinating the racketeering and most prosecutors in her former SPO office washed their hands off of her.

Instead of guaranteeing an impartial and independent justice, politicians from all parties continued with their personal fights and forgot about the importance of a correct implementation of basic democratic principles, such as separation of powers and the need to have an independent judiciary. It just proves that there is a long way to go. I can only hope that today and tomorrow, once again a civil society will wake up and demand basic democratic values to be respected at all times, even by politicians. And finally, whatever happens, the investigations into the wiretaps have to continue, Vanhoutte writes, before going after his favorite – former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who was the main target of Janeva’s criminal charges.