Yesterday the Independent Qualification Commission (KPK) decided to confirm Tirana Prosecutor Antoneta Sevdari.
With this confirmation, it may appear that 6 out of 6 constitutionally necessary candidates for the High Prosecutorial Council (KLP) have been vetted.
According to the Constution, the KLP will contain 11 members, 6 from the ranks of the prosecutors (which are currently being vetted), and 5 lawyers from the ranks of civil society, advocates, and pedagogues. These have earlier this year been elected by Parliament after three rounds of voting. The 6 members from the ranks of the prosecutors will be elected by the prosecutors of all levels at the Prosecution Office. The High Judicial Council (KLGj) has a comparable composition.
However, these 6 members cannot just be any magistrates; they have to come from specific part of the judicial apparatus. According to Law 115/2016 “On governance institutions of the justice system,” the magistrate members of the KLP and KLGj are determined as follows:
KLP (art. 105(1)):
- Three of the elected prosecutors shall be first instance prosecutors. At least 1 (one) of them shall be a prosecutor of a prosecution office attached to a court of first instance outside Tirana.
- Two of the elected prosecutors shall be prosecutors of the prosecution offices attached to courts of appeal, including the Special Prosecution Office for combatting corruption and organised crime. At least 1 (one) of them shall be a prosecutor of a prosecution office attached to a court of appeal outside Tirana.
One of the elected prosecutors shall be a prosecutor attached to the General Prosecution Office.
KLGj (art. 7(1)):
- Three of the elected judges are first instance judges. At least 1 (one) of them is a judge of first instance in a court outside Tirana.
- Two of the elected judges are appellate judges. At least 1 (one) of them is judge in an appeal court outside Tirana.
- One of the elected judges is a judge at the High Court.
Current state of the vetting
- Four first instance prosecutors have been confirmed so far: Dritan Prençi (Kukës, currently Temporary Serious Crimes Prosecutor), Vate Staka (Shkodra), Arta Marku (Shkodra, currently Temporary General Prosecutor), and Antoneta Sevdari (Tirana). This means that there are enough candidates that passed the vetting to fill three positions in the KLP.
- So far, two appeal prosecutors have failed to pass the vetting: Besa Nikëhasani (Shkodra) and Luan Kaloçi (Tirana). To be vetted remain Arben Dopallaj (Shkodra), Besnik Muci (Serious Crimes) and Gentjan Osmani (Serious Crimes). This means that Dopallaj needs to be confirmed together with either Muci or Osmani, otherwise a new round of applications need to be opened for the KLP.
- From the General Prosecution Office, two prosecutors have been confirmed so far, Anika Leka and Kostaq Beluri. Also this position seems therefore secure.
The speedy installation of the KLP therefore hinges on the confirmation of Arben Dopallaj, and the confirmation of either Besnik Muci or Gentjan Osmani. Note that both Prençi and Marku were moved to different positions after their vetting started. It is unsure how this will affect the election procedure of the KLP.
- Three first instance judges have been confirmed so far: Manjola Xhaxho (Tirana), Marçela Shehu (Kurbin), and Alma Brati (Tirana). This means that there are enough candidates that passed the vetting to fill three positions in the KLGj.
- Two judges from an appeals court have been confirmed so far, Ilir Tosja (Tirana) and Nertina Kosova (Serious Crimes). There are no other candidates from appeals court judges, which means that one position on the KLGj (the one reserved for an appeals court judge from outside Tirana) cannot be fulfilled with the current set of candidates. The only appeals judge from outside Tirana, Besim Trezhnjeva (Durrës), was dismissed by the KPK.
- There are currently two High Court judges on the list of KLGj candidates, Artan Zeneli and Medi Bici. Zeneli was dismissed, while Bici will be vetted on July 30.
A second round of applications will need to be opened for the KLGj in order to find an appeals court judges from outside Tirana. It is therefore unlikely that the KLGj will be installed anytime soon, perhaps not even this year. If Medi Bici fails to be confirmed, a new candidate from the High Court will need to be found as well.