Council of Prosecutors will examine Special Prosecutor’s handling of the wiretapped material

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The Council of Public Prosecutors is set to discuss about the actions of the Special Public Prosecutors during a session on Tuesday. The focus of the discussion is the controversy over the hand-over of illegally wiretapped conversations to the office of the Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva a month ago.

katica janeva

Janeva faced criticism after it became apparent that her office has not prepared a registry of the material that was given to it by the opposition SDSM party. The files were given to Janeva’s office on 30 December, after weeks of delays in which SDSM claimed that the newly established prosecutor’s office is not able to properly protect the material. This sparked accusations that SDSM are manipulating with the material, trying to obscure the actual quantity of files they have, and possibly trying to keep part of it in their possession, to use them for political gain.

The allegations stopped only briefly after the hand-over of the files, and resumed once it became apparent that Janeva’s assistants have not prepared a registry of the material it has received. The situation is further complicated by the discovery of a part of the cache held by SDSM in the hands of a group of identity document forgers, who were apparently trying to have the material edited and published online from a foreign country.

Janeva’s office has denied they have mishandled the cache of wiretapped material. They have refused to disclose the number of audio files and other types of material they have received, citing confidentiality concerns. Janeva’s position was created specifically to investigate the illegal wiretapping and the allegation of Government wrong-doing raised by the content of the tapes. SDSM claim they were given over 600.000 audio tapes of illegally recorded conversations by their insiders in the UBK security service, and over the past year SDSM distributed a selection several hundred tapes they claim contain evidence of various crimes on the part of Government officials. SDSM leader Zoran Zaev and a former head of the UBK service Zoran Verusevski are among those charged with setting up and funding a rogue spying ring that included at least one active UBK officer, to conduct illegal surveillance.

Janeva was already faced with criticism from the ruling VMRO-DPMNE party, after she agreed that Verusevski is allowed out of his pre-trial detention and into house detention.