Albanian police storm into the houses of several Appeals Court judges

Albanian police storm into the houses of several Appeals Court judges

For the first time since democracy was restored in the country, State Police has conducted a special operation in the homes of several Appeals Court judges.

Tens of special forces entered early this morning the homes of three judges: Skender Damiani, Petrit Aliaj and Aleks Nikolla, IBNA reports quoting official police sources.

The operation in question is underway.

State Police confirmed the operation carried out by special forces at IBNA’s request.

According to police, this operation came following the order issued on 14 February 2019 by the Court for Serious Crimes to search the homes of the three judges who reduced Dritan Dajti’s sentence.

“The police operation is underway as we speak, but we can confirm that so far we’ve found a quantity of ammunition, thousands of euros and other evidence which are being handled by law enforcement agencies”, Gentian Mullai, senior police official told IBNA.

He added that once the operation ends, state police will communicate with the media and the public.

Meanwhile, IBNA learns that 20 thousand euros were found inside the home of one of the judges, Skender Damiani, while this amount cannot be justified by his salary as judge.

This operation comes a few days after these judges of the Court of Appeal in Tirana decided toreduce the life sentence handed by the First Instance Court to Dritan Dajti, a person accused of killing four police officers during an operation for his arrest.

The killing dates back to 2009, but it took ten years to the justice system to deliver its verdict. The latest verdict was to sentence Dajti to 25 years in prison. Given that Dajti has been in prison for more than ten years, in a few years time he would be entitled apply for parole.

The decision to reduce Dajti’s sentence sparked many public reactions, especially from politicians.

Meanwhile, today’s police operation is unprecedented in the past three decades.

This was also confirmed today by PM Edi Rama. He said that state police “broke the 30 year old myth of the untouchable judges”.

According to Rama, “they showed those people who killed justice for the four police officers who were murdered by a criminal, that time for the untouchables has come to an end”.

Rama said that the state has entered a new phase today.

Meanwhile, former PM Sali Berisha sees it differently.

“Ridiculous! Two weeks after reducing his friend’s sentence,  he sent special forces to search the homes of the judges who executed his order!”, Berisha said. /ibna/