Government challenges Constitutional Court, National Bureau of Investigation will be created

Government challenges Constitutional Court, National Bureau of Investigation will be created

Tirana, April 22, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Edison Kurani

Albanian governing majority declares that it will create the National Bureau of Investigation, in spite of the decision of the Constitutional Court, which ruled this as unlawful and anti-constitutional.

In principle, the government says that it doesn’t comment the court rulings. However, two of the most important exponents of the majority, Spartak Braho from the SMI and Saimir Tahiri from the SP, did not hesitate to do this. They comment the ruling of the court considering it as unacceptable, that it can be challenged and “the worst ruling” that the Constitutional Court has ever issued.

Braho: The worst ruling that the Constitutional Court has ever issued

The head of the parliamentary committee on National Security, Spartak Braho, one of the main figures of the Socialist Movement for Integration, says that the quashing of the National Bureau of Investigation by the Constitutional Court, being announced as incompliant with the Constitution, is a “weak technocrat” decision. “This is the worst decision ever given by the Constitutional Court”, says Mr. Braho. Mr. Braho considered the fact that the Bureau was rejected by the court, in spite of being supported by the international factor, as bizarre. “To our great surprise, although this incentive was strongly supported by the international factor and this support was reiterated in the talks held by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Bushati with US Secretary of State, Mr. Kerry, the Constitutional Court has quashed it”, Mr. Braho said.

Braho says that this decision doesn’t stop the majority to finalize this issue, “by establishing it, reestablishing it and finding the necessary way to adjust the problem of functioning according to the law”.

And how can this be done?

Mr. Braho doesn’t yet have an answer for this: “I think that we will soon decide this. We will try to find a way to relaunch this incentive within the justification of the Constitutional Court, which has not yet issued the entire ruling”.

But is this a challenge toward the Constitutional Court? Braho admits it: “Without a doubt it’s a challenge. It’s the worst decision that the Constitutional Court has made. I don’t know. I don’t want to make allusions on this decision, but is an open rejection in this process which is necessary to fight organized crime. I don’t know what lies behind this. I think that this was a mere weak technocrat decision”.

SMI lawmaker assures that the National Bureau of Investigation will be established adding that this is not a parallel structure which strips the Prosecution of its powers.

According to him, the Bureau will be a special structure in the fight against crime, especially against corruption. “It’s not a parallel structure. It’s a special structure within State Police which aims to strengthen the fight against organized crime under the guidance of the Prosecution. A special structure which would take forward the request articulated not only by the international community, but by the public opinion to, in order to be efficient in the fight against organized crime”.

Tahiri: The Bureau will nevertheless be created

Minister of Interior, Saimir Tahiri, like Braho, challenges the Constitutional Court declaring that “the National Bureau of Investigation will nevertheless be created”. Mr. Tahiri says that once the decision of the Constitutional Court is made public, measures will be taken “to meet constitutional standards”.

Tahiri says that the National Bureau of Investigation is a very important institution in the fight against corruption, especially against elite corruption, organized crime and unjustified assets.

Therefore, he’s convinced that the Bureau will be created: “We’re determined to move on with our efforts in order to create an effective institution. We will conduct an expedient procedure in order not to waste any time for the creation and functioning of the National Bureau of Investigation”.

USA: The Bureau must comply with the Constitution

Minister Tahiri stresses the fact that the Albanian Bureau will closely collaborate with the American Bureau. “We’re engaged with the Federal Bureau of Investigation  for the establishment and consolidation of every step or procedure for the National Bureau of Investigation. This is a partnership that guarantees, above all, the highest standards for the Bureau”, Mr. Tahiri says.

The American embassy has reacted about the Bureau, suggesting that it must entirely comply with the Constitution. “The Bureau must fully comply with the Constitution of Albania, therefore the opinion and the instructions of the Constitutional Court in relation to this will be very important to help Albanian lawmakers to adopt the current law and make sure that it’s constitutional. It’s important that any law which is revised, must be drafted in a comprehensive way”.

The Embassy said that it “supports the creation of a law enforcement authority with advanced investigative capacities and the authority to investigate criminals or corrupted senior officials”.

Recently, FBI officials visited Tirana to discuss the creation of the National Bureau of Investigation and share their expertise to back the efforts of fighting corruption, organized crime and drug traffic.

Halimi: A ruling that stops an authoritarian and delirious prime minister

The democrat MP, Eduard Halimi, former minister of Interior, says that the court ruling “stops an authoritarian and delirious prime minister who acts in an arbitrary way and believes that he’s above the law and the Constitution”.

According to Halimi, “the creation of the National Bureau of Investigation as an investigative structure under the direct orders of the prime minister, was an effort for the destruction of the rule of law, violation of the civil rights and liberties”.

For the former minister, this decision “gives hope to the Albanian citizens that the authoritarian PM can be stopped and that independent institutions can function in Albania”. /ibna/