Janeva has the right to communicate with anyone, with the knowledge of a competent authority
MP Antonio Milošoski gave a statement which we deem false:
When a person/official is in custody, they cannot communicate with anyone other than their defender. That is why they are in custody. In particular, they must not communicate with the institution or the employees that they can influence, and that institution is exactly the one that the detainee has abused. The detained mayor, director, secretary of state, MP, minister, judge, prosecutor, by law loses the authority they have in their institution and the capacity to order, decide, sanction or arbitrate.
[Source: МКД – Милошоски: Јанева од притвор смее да комуницира…, date: 4 September 2019]
VMRO-DPMNE MP, Antonio Milošoski, gave a statement for the MKD.mk news portal after the news that the Special Prosecutor, Katica Janeva, sent a letter with a warrant of attorney to SPO prosecutors, which we deem as false.
It is a statement in which Milošoski asserts that Janeva has no right to communicate with anyone while in custody, except her defender, and in no case with the institution “which the detainee abused”.
In addition to ignoring the presumption of innocence and “legally” condemning Janeva, who is still only a suspect under investigation, Milošoski misinforms the public about the rights of detainees.
In the country’s legislation, this right is regulated by the Law on Criminal Procedure in several articles, and the closest article for assessing this statement is Article 178 entitled “Visit of the Detainee”.
Paragraph 5 of this article also regulates detainee’s right to communicate with other persons or representatives of state institutions. This issue is also mentioned in the other paragraphs of the same Article 178. Paragraph 5 reads:
The detainee may correspond with persons outside the prison with the knowledge and under supervision of the body conducting the investigation. This body may prohibit the sending and receiving of letters and other consignments harmful to the conduct of the procedure. Submitting a plea, a complaint or an appeal can never be prohibited.
In the announcement made by SPO it is impossible to see whether Janeva’s letter was sent with the knowledge of the body conducting the investigation. The competent court that ordered the custody is mentioned in the letter:
Yesterday, the Public Prosecutor’s Office received a warrant of attorney by the Basic Court- Skopje, which Katica Janeva submitted to the Public Prosecutor’s Office through the Prison “Skopje”. By the warrant of attorney Janeva authorizes prosecutors in this Public Prosecutor’s Office to hand over the pending cases in the Special Prosecutor’s Office to the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of North Macedonia such as: criminal cases in trial, in investigation and in pre-trial…
Janeva wrote to the competent court, the competent court sent the letter to SPO through the Prison “Skopje”. It is quite a different question whether Janeva, by a warrant of attorney sent from custody (only with a signature, assuming someone did not bring the stamp she owned as a special public prosecutor), could authorize someone in the institution which she still formally heads, but is isolated from because she is a suspect. However, she does have the right to communicate with other persons or institutions other than his defender as Milošoski states. This is guaranteed by the relevant law, the Constitution and by international human rights conventions or treaties which also include the rights of detainees.
Therefore, we deem Milošoski’s statement, given at the beginning of the text, as false.