ONM Opposes Vetting Ruling, Demands Dismissal of Constitutional Judge

The International Monitoring Operation (ONM) has opposed the Independent Qualification Commission (KPK) ruling to reinstate Constitutional judge Bashkim Dedja.

Consequently, ONM asked Public Commissioners to appeal KPK’s ruling. If the Public Commissioners choose to accept ONM’s request, they have time until July 28 to do so.

This is the first time ONM foreign representatives make such a demand.

Recall that Bashkim Dedja was reconfirmed a few weeks ago, even though KPK found inconsistencies in his wealth declaration.

The discrepancies had to do with three apartments owned by Bashkim Dedja:

  1. To purchase a 146 sq.m. apartment in Tirana, Dedja claimed that he had taken out a €120,000 loan, used his €35,000 savings, and borrowed €15,000 and €10,000 from his brother and his brother-in-law, respectively. The KPK administrative investigation has concluded that Dedja’s brother and brother-in-law were unable to justify these savings.Dedja’s statements regarding the people he borrowed money from are also suspicious. He claimed that he borrowed money from his brother-in-law, and, afterwards, from the father of his brother-in-law. Furthermore, the notarized statements concerning the borrowing were problematic – his brother-in-law, one of the lenders, had not signed.

    Regarding this case, defense attorney Haxhia claimed that both lenders had been immigrants and, as every other Albanian immigrant, they lacked some documentation to justify their savings.

  2. KPK found other irregularities with another 98 sq.m. apartment located in Tirana. Initially, in 2003, Dedja said that he owned only 50% of the apartment and his brother the rest. Afterwards, when filing vetting documentation, Dedja declared that he owned the entire apartment, without providing any proof of purchase. Subsequently, the judge switched positions again, going back to the initial version.
  3. KPK also raised doubts regarding the various declarations Dedja filed with the High Inspectorate of the Declaration and Audit of Assets and Conflict of Interest (ILDKPKI) for an apartment on Durrës beach. The electricity contract for this property has been registered to judge Dedja, but the registered owner of the apartment seems to be Dedja’s brother, a farmer living in a village in Dibra.Dedja’s attorney Maks Haxhia, who is also on the Steering Board of the EURALIUS mission and attprney of former Minister of Interior Saimir Tahiri, waved all these irregularities away, dismissing them as “this is how relations among brothers are in Albania.”