Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska, who is second in command in both Zaev’s Government and the SDSM party, tweeted out a request that people stop connecting her with the growing corruption scandal that involves Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva.

I responsibly oppose the orchestrated attempts to consider the criminals and those who are not criminals, those who are corrupt and those who work honestly, as one and the same. The citizens deserve justice!, Sekerinska wrote, in a coordinated social media push with Zoran Zaev.

She is the biggest name directly involved in the corruption scandal, as the Italian newspaper La Verita published a new set of audio tapes. In them, Sekerinska is reveraled as close and friendly to Bojan Jovanovski – Boki 13, the showman charged with extorting 1.5 million EUR from businessman Jordan Orce Kamcev, promising that he will get Janeva to drop her charges against him. In the tapes, Kamcev also says he is close with Sekerinska’s husband Bozidar Jankovski – Bobo, the head of the Diners Club Macedonia.

Your buddy, they are at my place this evening, with the wife, Boki 13 tells Kamcev in one of the recordings.

In the remainder of the conversation, a laughing Kamcev makes it seem that Radmila Sekerinska and her husband were arranging to watch a football game with Kamcev, but mostly so that Sekerinska could meet with Boki 13 without drawing too much attention. It seems that the power couple were actually more prepared to be seen publicly as visiting Orce Kamcev, who was then under house arrest, than meeting with Boki 13.

Sekerinska was already named as close to Boki 13 in a number of reports written by journalist Branko Geroski, who used fictional names to point the finger at top SDSM party officials as involved in racketeering. Geroski announced that he will point to a very high SDSM official, and announced that he will write about people with nicknames Sheki and Raki, both of which could be used for Sekerinska.

Geroski pointed to the fact that Marija Jankovska, the wife of Bozidar Jankovski’s brother Igor, sits on the board of the International Association. That is a bogus charity set up by Boki 13, apparently in order to launder money and appy for lucrative development permits under the guise of building welfare housing for the elderly. The journalist also claimed that another of the top officials of this fake charity, Jasna Mandik, is close to Sekerinska and said that he will reveal more about their ties in the coming days.

The darling of the diplomatic corps in Skopje and frequently involved in the SDSM party’s international liaisons, Sekerinska elbowed her way to the top of SDSM in 2006, only to be removed following a brutal electoral defeat by the Nikola Gruevski led VMRO-DPMNE in 2008, to a large degree caused by factional divisions in SDSM. Sekerinska is seen as the leader of the urban, Skopje based wing of the party, as opposed to Zaev’s supporters who are often dismissed as “the rural wing”. The reports abou her links with Boki 13 have the potential to renew factional strife in SDSM.