Thu, 19 Sep 2019

SKOPJE -- North Macedonia's outgoing special prosecutor in charge of investigating organized crime cases has been questioned for four hours as part of a probe into a high-level corruption case that has rocked the Balkan country for weeks.

Emerging from the questioning in Skopje, Katica Janeva told journalists on August 20 she had been summoned by prosecutors as a "witness" and felt "no guilt."

Janeva resigned as special prosecutor last month amid allegations of her involvement in a scheme to take money from a businessman charged by her office over corruption allegations.

She remains in the post until a successor is appointed.

The scandal erupted in July when businessman Bojan Jovanovski and his alleged accomplice, Zoran Milevski, were arrested on suspicion of extorting money from another businessman.

Jovanovski and Milevski are accused of taking cash from Orce Kamcev in exchange for a promise to help him receive a lighter sentence in another case by using their alleged influence over Janeva.

Earlier this month, the Italian newspaper La Verita published recorded conversations purportedly between Kamcev and Jovanovski in which Janeva's voice could also be heard.

Janeva claimed the conversation was unrelated to the case.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, whose name was also mentioned in the recordings, has denied any connection with the scandal.

After taking office in 2017, Zaev pledged to root out widespread graft in the European Union-hopeful nation.

The special prosecutor's office was created in 2015 to investigate high-level crime.

With reporting by Reuters and Balkan Insight

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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