After an extensive PR campaign of the international diplomatic missions in Tirana, kicked off by EU Ambassador Luigi Soreca on Friday, repeated by German Ambassador Susane Schütz yesterday, and followed by online propaganda by both the EU Delegation and the US Embassy, both with exactly the same boilerplate statement:
An independent, accountable, and professional judiciary will benefit Albanian citizens who have overwhelmingly expressed support for justice sector reform. A fully functioning justice system is also in the clear interest of Albanian judges and prosecutors.
We call on Albanian judges and prosecutors to ensure a free and transparent election process for magistrates in the High Prosecutorial Council and High Judicial Council. The continuous institution-building of justice reform must be maintained and confirmed this week.
This is the chance for judges and prosecutors to contribute to and shape the Albanian justice system for the future and hope of all Albanians. We expect them to show ownership and a sense of responsibility in the establishment of these vital institutions.
Maintaining progress, especially through the establishment of the independent judicial structures foreseen by the Constitutional reform, is an essential step on the path towards the opening of EU accession negotiations in June 2019.
This is all nice and well, but the current course of action, as I have argued before, is in direct contradiction with the definition of “complete reassessment” both in the Constitution and the Vetting Law. The cheers of the EU, US, and the actions of Marku are based on a highly contentious interpretation of a badly written law, drafted and passed solely by the Socialist majority under cheers of the internationals.
What these people do not realize, is that they are basically giving off a signal that the only part of the vetting that matters is the first phase by the Independent Qualification Commission (KPK) and that appeals at the Special Appeals Chamber (KPA) simply won’t be taken into consideration. This is a serious threat to the fairness of the vetting process, and the credibility of the justice reform.
As a result, General Prosecutor Arta Marku announced yesterday that members from the prosecution for the High Prosecutorial Council (KLP) will be elected today by the General Meeting of Prosecutors.
Marku has called this meeting, even though the KLP candidates have not yet completed their vetting as defined by the Constitution and the Vetting Law. Adriatik Cama, Dritan Rreshka, and Elsion Sadiku have appealed their dismissal by the KPK at the KPA, while the Public Commissioner has appealed against the confirmation of Antoneta Sevdari, Gentjan Osmani, and Besnik Muçi. Meanwhile, the verdict of Ramadan Troci, Shpëtim Kurti, and Besnik Cani have not yet even been published. So even more appeals may be on the way.
Temporary General Prosecutor Arta Marku, who recently let herself be elected to the Justice Nominations Council (KED), is also candidate for the KLP, which will select the new General Prosecutor with a full mandate (even though Marku has frequently acted as if she had a full mandate as well).
The international fans of the government have also given ammunition to politicians who themselves have been implied in criminal activities, such as Socialist MP Taulant Balla, who reposted the EU-US declaration with a few ALLCAPS for good measure:
THIS WEEK IS DECISIVE
On the road of the creation of an independent, responsible, and professional judiciary, completely to the profit of the Albanian citizens.
WHO THINKS THAT THEY CAN BLOCK IT
is very wrong. So all Albanian prosecutors and judges have to guarantee a free and transparent election process for the members of the KLP and KLGj.
EUROPEAN ALBANIA WITH INDEPENDENT JUSTICE
The moment that people like Balla start to praise an “independent judiciary,” it is difficult not to become completely cynical.