General Prosecutor Marku Dismantles Tahiri Investigation

Ever since the nomination of Temporary General Prosecutor Arta Marku in December 2017, the investigation into international drug trafficking and corruption of former Minister of Interior Affairs and right hand of Prime Minister Edi Rama, Saimir Tahiri, has been undermined.

First of all, Marku allowed a crucial witness, Nazer Seiti, to be extradited to Italy even though the Prosecution Office investigating him in the context of the Tahiri–Habilaj affair. This was in violation of Criminal Procedure Code art. 491.

She subsequently demoted the prosecutor leading the case Besim Hajdarmataj, and nominated Donika Prela in his place. As Temporary General Prosecutor, Marku is not allowed to make any changes with regards to the transfer or dismissal of prosecutors. By appropriating the rights of the High Prosecutorial Council (KLP), she violated Constitution art. 149/a. A few weeks later, Tahiri’s house arrest was canceled.

Marku was allowed to pass the vetting, in spite of serious doubts of the International Monitoring Mission (ONM), and the Public Commissioner has failed to file an appeal in the public interest. She will now most probably be put in charge in the search of “additional” candidates for the KLP, again in violation of Albanian law.

To top off this impressive resume of unlawful activities, Marku has recently transferred (still in violation of the Constitution) 10 prosecutors from the Prosecution of Serious Crimes to regional prosecution offices, just after the vetting commission opened the vetting of the Prosecution of Serious Crimes. One of those transferred is Hajdarmataj, the leader of the Tahiri investigation. Marku cited disciplinary measures, but is unclear on what authority or what legal basis she has made these decisions.

What is clear is that the Tahiri case will now definitely go nowhere, all thanks to a Temporary General Prosecutor, illegally elected, using illegal measures – all while the highest courts of the country or dysfunctional and no one is there to pass judgment on her unlawful actions.