Karadjoski has remained consistent in his inconsistency

Zoran Karadjoski. Photo: Screenshot

Zoran Karadjoski, the head of the Judicial Council who is supposed to have the highest of interest in the work of this body crucial for the judiciary and reforms thereof, makes a statement that resembles complaining about some benign issues like the unsweeped street in front of the Judicial Council or in his neighborhood: “I haven’t read the report; I hope we’ll find it; According to what I’ve heard in the media, it’s a matter of unsuitable conduct on the part of the Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO)”…

 

Zoran Karadjoski, the head of the Judicial Council who is supposed to have the highest of interest in the work of this body crucial for the judiciary and reforms thereof, makes a statement that resembles complaining about some benign issues like the unsweeped street in front of the Judicial Council or in his neighborhood: “I haven’t read the report; I hope we’ll find it; According to what I’ve heard in the media, it’s a matter of unsuitable conduct on the part of the Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO)”…

 

The president of the Judicial Council, Zoran Karadjoski, made a statement to the press which, at the very least, is inconsistent:

I will look at it, all the members will look at it of course, I hope we’ll find it (the report). So, according to what I’ve heard in the media, on websites, tells us that it’s a matter of unsuitable behavior on the part of one party in the procedure, SPO in fact, the manner of approaching. Still, that’s what I’ve heard in the media. I would have more comments if I had all the facts before me.

[Source: 1tv/YouTube channel, date: 17. September, 2018]

 

EXPLANATION:

Once again, the president of the Judicial Council of the RM, Zoran Karadjoski, made a statement in front the perplexed the public expecting some sort of progress at some point in the future when it comes to the judiciary in the country. As the head of the most important judicial body, Karadjoski ought to know and has to try to stay informed about everything taking place in this area as one of the four pillars of democratic societies.

But, instead of doing so, Karadjoski demonstrates complete lack of interest in the SPO’s Special Report, submitted to the Parliament of the RM, according to the legislative competences related to its position and operations.

SPO’s main task is shedding light on all details regarding the creation of the illegally intercepted conversations, as well as act upon indications and evidence of crime found in those particular audio materials and SMSs.

 

WHAT HAS THE SPO FOUND?

Since one of the duties SPO has to effectuate is a special report – which it did – it prepared a special report on the findings they have arrived at in the intercepted materials related to the conduct of certain representatives of the judiciary, some of whom are members of the Judicial Council itself. Below is the introduction of SPO’s Special report outlining what has been found in the audio and SMS materials:

The collusion between high officeholders in the executive and judicial powers regarding the election of judges that have breached the legislative procedures, violated the provisions of incompatibility of performing public function, work or activity while holding judge’s office, directly meddled in judge’s function, introduced unauthorized persons with information the judges’ had obtained while in office, are just some of the means of undermining the fundamental values of the constitutional order of the Republic of Macedonia in terms of rule of law and separation of power into legislative, executive and judicial.

Further on, with a resume of the intercepted materials, the SPO pays special attention to several judges. First in the Special report is Aleksandra Zafirovska, president of the Judicial Council in the period 2011-2013, during which the SPO has found testimonies in the intercepted conversations about violation of laws on the part of Zafirovska:

The evidence at disposal of this Prosecutor’s Office, the phone conversations of Aleksandra Zafirovska from 2011 to 2013 in particular, some of whom were made public, show that while holding the chairmanship of the Judicial Council of the Republic of Macedonia, the aforementioned person had been in constant coordination with the executive power. The audio materials’ content undoubtedly leads to the conclusion that the then Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia not only had been notified and consulted whilst the Judicial Council had been making the most important decisions, but he had also played a key role during the election of judges and expert contributors.

Jovo Vangelovski, president of the Supreme Court of the RM, is the second person mentioned in SPO’s Special report:

The findings that this Prosecutor’s Office arrived at, complemented by the publicly published conversation between Jovo Vangelovski as president of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Macedonia and Mile Janakieski as Minister of Transport and Communications, as well as non-published conversations made by Jovo Vangelovski in 2011 and 2013 demonstrate unprofessional and negligent performance of the function president of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Macedonia by disclosing information about the court proceedings in the Supreme Court, intervening at other judges regarding their cases and making suggestions about the ruling.

There are two more judges – Sofija Lalikjikj and Svetlana Kostova. SPO unambiguously claims that it possesses evidence in the materials demonstrating that both judges had violated laws and the Constitution. From the unlawful election of the first one, through contacts made by both of them with the then head of the Administration for Security and Counterintelligence (ASC), Sasho Mijalkov, to the incompatibility of holding judge’s office while holding another one, which Kostova had been doing for months – she had been holding judge’s office while being employed by MOI’s ASC!

 

RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE PARLIAMENT

Apart from the aforementioned findings, SPO addresses to and virtually begs the Parliament of the RM, as the body with the highest power in this country, to intervene and help Macedonia fulfill the recommendations by Priebe’s senior expert commission, the Venice Commission and the recommendations contained in the reports of GRECO – Council of Europe’s body for tackling corruption and organized crime, whose member is the Republic of Macedonia.

One of the recommendations pertains to reconsidering the role and legal setup the Judicial Council works in:

The Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia is the sole state body that can eliminate the possible influence onto the judiciary, thus enhance its independence. Therefore, I deem that the Parliament ought to relinquish its constitutional task of electing members of the Judicial Council, as well as take away the constitutional right of the President of the Republic of Macedonia of proposing members of the Judicial Council. By doing so, every possible meddling of the executive and the legislative power in judiciary’s independence will be prevented. Furthermore, the possibility all members of the Judicial Council to be elected by judges of their ranks by secretly casting their votes during election ought to be considered as most viable solution.

SPO states that the current legislation on the Judicial Council doesn’t allow the findings to turn into sanctions, because the deadline for initiating a proceeding is three years after the offense has been perpetrated, hence it makes a proposition to the Parliament to amend that particular provision in the form of two recommendations:

urgent intervention in the Law on Judicial Council of the Republic of Macedonia with regard to the initiation of proceeding for establishing liability of a judge or court president in a manner equivalent to the term of the holder of the judge’s office;

amendments in regard to sanctioning, in a manner that will introduce diversity of sanctions and more rigorous sanctioning which will thwart any inadequate career progress.

So, how do things stand at the end? The Parliament is not in session due to the referendum scheduled on 30 September. Zoran Karadjoski, the head of the Judicial Council who is supposed to have the highest of interest in the work of this body, which is crucial for the judiciary and reforms thereof, makes a statement that resembles complaining about some benign issue like the unsweeped street in front of the Judicial Council or in his neighborhood: “I haven’t read the report; I hope we’ll find it; According to what I’ve heard in the media, it’s a matter of unserious conduct on the part of SPO…”

On account of the facts/details from SPO’s report given above, Karadjoski’s statement is, at the very least, inconsistent in terms of the constitutional and legislative position of the SPO in the society and his inconsistency goes as far as proclaiming his commitment for independent judiciary and reforms thereof!

Notwithstanding, this statement of his is totally consistent when it comes to Karadjoski himself. Back in 2016, when he made appearances on TV, he didn’t find anything controversial in the leaked phone conversations that show political party influence in the judiciary. Same happened in early 2018, when he didn’t see anything controversial in Ministry of Justice’s Report on the set-ups regarding the functioning and the disregarding of the ACCMIS (court case scheduling computer system). Hence, Karajodski’s inconsistency concerning his position and role in RM’s judiciary as well as the necessary reforms is, in fact, quite consistent!

 

SOURCES:

 

Assessed by: Teo Blazhevski

 


This article was created within the Truthmeter project implemented by Metamorphosis Foundation for Internet and Society with the financial support of the Foundation Open Society - Macedonia (FOSM). The content is the responsibility of its author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Foundation Open Society - Macedonia.