OP-ED/Evil is everywhere

OP-ED/Evil is everywhere

This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.albanianfreepress.al

By Plator Nesturi

Millions of euros seized in the port of Durres. Tons of cash being transported through cars ordered abroad. Euros hidden in bags, but in this case, there are no codes showing who they belong to. However, in contrast to detective books where every mystery is solved, this one will remain unsolved and will soon be forgotten. Nobody knows anything and nobody wants to claim the millions of euros hidden in car boots. It’s a little absurd, because even investigators have kept quite so far and have no leads whatsoever. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they conclude that someone has accidentally left these millions of euros there.

Instead of being investigated by prosecutors, this story immediately became a political topic. Accusations and counter accusations. The scheme remains the same with what happened in the port of Durres several months ago when 630 kg of cocaine were seized. Even then, what we should have heard from the prosecution, we learned through the declarations issued by political figures who accused the opponents. Even then, the amount of cocaine had been forgotten in banana shipping containers and the only suspect so far is a lorry driver and the company’s administrator. In all likelihood, the same scheme will also be applied for the “Toyta” case.

Evil is emerging in ports, but in reality, evil is present everywhere. Every case which has appeared on the media so far, from the one concerning former minister Tahiri, the so called “Babale” and the police operations in the port of Durres, are being attributed to political figures, rather than being commented as criminal activities of the underworld. It looks like we don’t separate politics from crime, but this way, we’re offering organized crime a more powerful protection. Even if a political figure has actually collaborated with crime, declaring again and again that crime and politics are one, means that we don’t have any hopes that something will change, because these will be the same politicians that we will be voting in three or four years time. Instead of this, it would be better if these accusations were personalized and not political.

We need to face corruption and organized crime head on and we cannot do this by accusing each other for political gains. The international community says that corruption and crime are controlling the state because we don’t have a functional democracy and efficient institutions. This is the Achilles heel. Disorganized and intimidated by the political class and the underworld, our institutions are not functioning. This is also shown by cases which are not solved; cases relating to abuses and serious accusations involving politicians.

Given that such investigations involve 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