The Independent Qualification Commission (KPK) announced today that judge from the Constitutional Court Fatos Lulo did not pass the vetting. The KPK dismissed Lulo from his position on the Court.
According to the KPK, Lulo did not justify his assets, including $480,000 to buy an apartment in Canada, and another gift of $100,000. Lulo was also accused of not paying his taxes between 1994 and 1997. Lulo’s lawyer Ardian Visha claimed these were gifts from his sister.
In a response on Facebook, Prime Minister Edi Rama gloated over the decision, declaring:
All Albanians who strongly support the vetting should feel good today because the start has been well. After the 17 judges and prosecutors that left before the vetting could start, the process started and the first one who was interrogated couldn’t justify his assets and fell! I am convinced that you haven’t seen anything yet.
The complete verdict of the KPK will be published within 30 days, after which Lulo can file an appeal at the Appeals College (KA). Until the decision of the KA, Lulo will be suspended from his function and receive 75% of his salary. This also means that the Constitutional Court will no longer have a quorum, as only 5 members are left; all cases in front of the Constitutional Court will therefore be suspended until new judges have been elected by the recently installed Judicial Nominations Council (KED).