With the confirmation of Shkodra Appeals Court Prosecutor Arben Dopallaj yesterday, it appears that enough candidates for the High Prosecutorial Council (KLP) have passed the vetting.
According to Law 115/2016 “On governance institutions of the justice system” art. 105(1), the KLP comprises the following members from the prosecution:
- 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.
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). Still to be vetted are Besnik Cani, Bujar Hoti, and Shpëtim Kurti.
If we assume that Besnik Muçi and Gentjan Osmani, Prosecutors at the Court of Serious Crimes may be counted as an Appeals Court Prosecutor, then together with Dopallaj they will be able to fill the two seats reserved for prosecutors attached to an appeals court.
From the General Prosecution Office, two prosecutors have been confirmed so far, Anika Leka and Kostaq Beluri, while Ramadan Troci remains to be vetted.
No dates for the hearing of Cani, Hoti, Kurti, and Troci have been set yet by the KPK, while an appeal to any of the cases by either the assessee of the Public Commissioner will further delay the process.
Within two months of the vetting of all candidates, Temporary Prosecutor General Arta Marku, herself a candidate for the KLP, will have to call a General Meeting of prosecutors to elect the members of the KLP. If Marku fails to call a meeting, 1/10th of all prosecutors may call for the General Meeting instead. The General Meeting is mandatory for all prosecutors, and has a quorum of more than half of the total number of prosecutors. KLP members will be elected based on highest number of votes.
The six members elected by the General Meeting of prosecutors will join the five members elected earlier this year by Parliament.
The installation of the KLP, which now appears to be possible before the end of the year, will mark a major step forward in the Justice Reform. Once the KLP is installed, it can nominate a new and legitimate General Prosecutor and take steps to install the Special Prosecution Office (SPAK) and the National Investigation Bureau (BKH). Moreover the KLP may also be able to at least partially unblock the School of Magistrates.