This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.albanianfreepress.al
By Plator Nesturi
It’s been a while that things have started to move. It started almost two years ago, when a parliament which had convicted people and criminals in it, was forced to vote unanimously the amendments of the Constitution and the strengthening of the law on corruption and organized crime. Of course, at that time, they were not very eager to vote, but they had the pressure of the main sponsor of this process, the international community. Although the change started to emerge at that time, the effects have started to show their effects now. The effects on a crazy system where ties between politics and crime were cemented. And in this aspect, there are no sides, because interest groups changed their sides depending on the situation. And it’s due to these connections and interests that exist that the process to be delayed so much.
It’s been several months now that everyone has been focused on the case against former minister Tahiri. There have been no reports, at least on the media, about any progress made in this case, besides the fact that after he gave up his mandate as MP, he has been placed under house arrest. Meanwhile, the saga of the attacks of the opposition against the current Interior minister Xhafaj has culminated yesterday with the publication of a registered conversation of his brother. In the justice system we’re seeing the implementation of the vetting process for judges and prosecutors. So far, the majority of them have been unable to justify their wealth. Then we had the suspension of prosecutors Gashi and Gina, who are under investigation for lying in their wealth declaration forms, a process which removes them from office. But it seems that things will not stop at this. It’s been days now that the issuing of the arrest warrant for the former Attorney General has been considered to be a fait accompli. First of all, the verification commission needs to have its say about the investigation of his wealth and then the prosecution will issue an arrest warrant, although the former Attorney General is being treated in Germany.
Given that such investigations are taking place on public figures and senior officials, the public opinion is following them closely. But, in the past few years there have been hundreds of cases that the prosecution has not followed up and these cases include politicians, senior officials and important businesses who have abused with taxes.
What’s special about this high number of cases against people with power, in this wave of accusations for connections with crime coming from both sides of politics is that we don’t have the necessary institutions of justice who could handle such load. Two years after we amended the Constitution and a year after we were supposed to have a new prosecution and new court, everything continues with the old laws and institutions whose legal deadlines have already expired. We also need to add the fact that the majority of judges and prosecutors are more worried about the way they’re going to pass the screening process rather than doing their job. This leads to a situation where things are on the brink of collapse. Today, people working in the justice system are more worried about their future rather than act professionally in exerting justice. And for this we need to blame politics which has prevented the normal application of the reform in justice.
However, the obstacles in the justice system seem to be turning into a boomerang for the political class, because panic has also affected politicians who are anxious about their future. Nonetheless, political war continues and more surprises are yet to come.
Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy