Albania Prosecutors Fail to Investigate Dismissed Justice Officials – says Helsinki Committee

Tirana, Albania | July 25 (Tirana Echo) – Albania’s Prosecutor Office has failed to investigate judges and prosecutors who were dismissed by the vetting process – as the Albanian Helsinki Committee points the finger at district prosecution offices.

According to the Albanian Helsinki Committee which monitors human rights and rule of law in the small Balkan country, district prosecution offices are failing to follow up on cases of judges and prosecutors whom have been dismissed from the justice system.

Dismissals of unfit judges and prosecutors are being executed by the Independent Qualification Commission which is part of a special vetting process put in place in the framework of a huge justice reform undertaken by Albanian authorities and supported by the European Union and the United States.

According to Erinda Skendaj, Director of AHC speaking to Klan Plus, “When administrative bodies such as the Independent Commission of Qualifications (KPK) notice facts or circumstances which may suggest a possible offense, Albania’s penal code obliges them to refer such cases to the prosecutor’s office.

According to information gathered by the AHC, there is only one case referred by the vetting body to a district prosecutor, who after examining the materials decided on not investigating the subject.

The criticism comes as Albania is scanning all its judges and prosecutors as part of a wider EU & US backed justice reform.

As a result of a slow vetting process previously criticized by the AHC, Albania is currently at a point of constitutional crisis, being the only country in Europe without a functioning Constitutional Court and High Court as most of their members have been dismissed from the system.

Analysts say that the Court of Appeals may also seize to function soon when its member are scanned by the vetting structures.

The small Balkan country hopes to formally open EU membership talks next year, as the European Union has conditioned its negotiations on tangible results of the justice reform and credible efforts to strengthen the rule of law and fight pervasive corruption.

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