“If you and the Council are going to let Katica out of detention, I will shake the whole Council down to your underpants with a financial investigation. Because of judges like you, we shall never be let in to enter the EU. If this is not your stance then I apologize, but if you support this decision you shall see”.

This was the content of the SMS message that according to the Appellate Court was sent to one of the members of the Criminal Court at the Appellate Court Skopje, by the Head of the Public Prosecution for Organized Crime and Corruption Vilma Ruskovska. The member of the Council was one of the judges who were deciding to release the former Special Public Prosecutor Katica Janeva. The SMS message was published at the Appellate Court’s webpage.

According to the court, it is a direct threat and interference in its affairs, and for letting go of Janeva from detention it stated that it is also a measure for securing her presence

“The Appellate Court Skopje, regarding the content in the SMS message, including a past public outburst by the public prosecutor in the media with similar content, it shows a stance that it represents a direct threat and interference in the court’s affairs where the public prosecution is only a party in the procedure. The Appellate Court Skopje thinks that such behavior by a public prosecutor represents a use of the position as a public prosecutor and an effort through a public gesture to impose the existence of elements of corruption in the decision process by the Criminal Council. This will cause suspicion regarding the regularity and the lawfulness of the Criminal Court’s decision when it ruled a house arrest which is only second by its severeness to detention in order to provide the presence of accused in a criminal procedure” said the press release issued at the appellate Court’s web page.

Ruskovska’s procedure, according to the court “presents a direct influence on the process of leading trial procedures and is violating the principle of judiciary’s independence as a very important segment in the rule of law, and that can be an obstacle in our country’s EU accession process”.