Katica Janeva, 55, was found guilty Thursday and ordered to remain under house arrest pending an appeal. She has denied any wrongdoing. High-level corruption cases have fueled years of political turmoil in Northern Macedonia and are cited as being a key obstacle to the country’s hopes of joining the European Union.
Another man arrested over the alleged extortion scheme, TV personality, recording artist and businessman Bojan Jovanovski, received a nine-year sentence. Jovanovski was found guilty of using his influence with Janeva and providing her about 50,000 euros ($56,000) in bribes in exchange for more lenient treatment of a businessman at the center of a major corruption investigation.