Judge Ilir Toska of the Appeal Court of Tirana was elected member of the High Justice Council (KLGj) following his confirmation in duty by the Independent Qualification Commission (KPK), despite several unanswered questions regarding his background and conflicts of interest.
The KPK seems to have ruled in Judge Toska’s favor while disregarding several problematic findings concerning the judge.
In 2005, Judge Ilir Toska bought an apartment in Tirana at the cost of €50,000. He pledged as collateral the property of a lawyer with name initials “L.A.”
Lawyer L.A. defended his clients in 19 court cases where Judge Ilir Toska was part of the court body.
The KPK confirmed Judge Toska in his duty. In its analysis of the 19 court cases were Judge Toska and Lawyer L.A. were involved, the KPK analyzed in details only five of the cases. It ruled that Judge Toska had not favored Lawyer L.A.’s clients.
The remaining 14 cases were deemed as cases involving only “[…] criminal offenses and offenders with no serious, small or moderate danger […]”. The KPK avoided revealing the rulings of the court in these cases, hence leaving an unanswered question on whether Lawyer L.A. was favored or not, or whether there might have been bribing involved.
In its ruling, the KPK used information from the High Inspectorate of the Declaration and Audit of Assets and Conflict of Interest (ILDKPKI) on whether there was a conflict of interest between Judge Toska and Lawyer L.A. The ILDKPKI informed that there was no conflict of interest as prescribed by the relevant law.
The Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest involves only family members or persons in a strong friendship relation. Judge Toska had stated earlier that he had “no strong friendship with the said citizen, and no friendship relation for years.” Judge Toska’s statement appears to have sufficed for the KPK to judge that there was no conflict of interest between the two.
The KPK and the ILDKPKI failed to ask a simple question: In case these two persons had no strong friendship relation, how come Lawyer L.A. pledged his property for Judge Ilir Toska’s to be able to buy his new apartment?
This question was never asked or answered by the KPK and ILDKPKI.
Moreover, the KPK disregarded the National Security Agency (DSIK) insistence that Judge Toska was “unfit to exercise his duty”. The DSIK reported twice on a corruption case in 2004 in which Judge Toska, then an Inspector at the High Justice Council (KLD), was involved. The case involved passive bribing of two inspectors – Judge Toska and another one. Upon analyzing the case, the KPK found DSIK’s information unreliable.
The Public Commissioners did not appeal Jugde Ilir Toska’s confirmation in duty by the KPK.
Judge Ilir Toska of the Appeal Court of Tirana was elected member of the High Justice Council (KLGj) few weeks ago. The KLGj is responsible of overseeing the careers of judges in the Republic of Albania.
This article first appeared on BoldNews in Albanian language. Edited and translated by Exit.