While Zoran Zaev’s demands to have a loyalist appointed as the new Special Prosecutor were well known and expected, the public was surprised to hear the during his late night meeting with opposition leader Hristijan Mickoski, the Prime Minister demanded that all staff hired by the disgraced Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva keep their jobs.
The Special Prosecutor’s Office, set up for Janeva and used to bring Zaev to power with the help of politically motivated persecution campaigns against the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, was famously staffed with relatives of Janeva and other prosecutors. These include Janeva’s nephew, the daughter of the warden of the Sutka prison where Janeva is currently detained, the daughter of an SDSM official appointed to lead the MEPSO company who also allegedly profited from Janeva’s extortion attempts, the daughter and a cousin of prosecutor Elizabeta Josifovska, two cousins of prosecutor Gavril Bubevski, the cousin of prosecutor Lence Ristoska… Even the girlfriend of Janeva’s son, Lazar Janev, who was allegedly hiding one of Janeva’s phones from the investigation, works in the SPO.
Most of the SPO staff quickly turned their backs on Janeva and publicly denounced her the day after her associate Bojan Jovanovski – Boki 13 was arrested on racketeering charges. They claim that they didn’t know about the extensive abuse of the office for extortion and racketeering. Three SPO prosecutors were interrogated but have not yet been charged for their role in the scandal.
Opposition leader Hristijan Mickoski rejected Zaev’s request that Janeva’s handpicked staff will be retained following the planned rearranging of the SPO.