By Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei
Sheshi Controversy Shows Again Why Rushing the KLP Was a Bad Idea

The recent controversy surrounding High Prosecutorial Council (KLP) member Bujar Sheshi once again shows the risk taken by the government and its EU supporters by installing the judiciary governance institutions without going first through all the formal checks and procedures.

On December 12, the KLP was formed, even though several of members from the judiciary had not fully passed the vetting process. A week later, the Special Appeals Chamber (KPA)’s dismissal of Constitutional judge Bashkim Dedja, also a member of the Justice Appointments Council, showed the risk of prematurely installing crucial institutions without ascertaining that all members are clean.

The most recent controversy revealing the hasty and premature actions of the government concern KLP member Bujar Sheshi. After a second round of applications was opened (on questionable legal basis) because of a lack of qualifying candidates, Sheshi filled a gap in the KLP in November, and was elected by default in December. Sheshi had passed the vetting on October 24.

According to General Prosecution Arta Marku, the Prosecution Office filed a request on October 26, 2018 at the Authority for Information on Documents of the former State Security (AIDSSh) for an investigation whether Sheshi had been member or informant of the former State Security, one of the main institutions of repression during the dictatorship. The same was requested for all other KLP members. This followed art. 7(2)(dh) of Law 115/2016, according to which a KLP member cannot be a former State Security member or informant.

As it turns out, the government didn’t wait with the installation of the KLP until the AIDSSh had completed its investigation, for which no legal deadline was determined. As the AIDSSh is severely underfunded by the government, most of the research in the archive was manual work, and the investigation took longer because of several inconsistencies in the files and documents provided by Sheshi himself, in which he claimed not to have been a member or informant for the State Security.

However, the AIDSSh declared in a report released on January 22, 2019 that a certain Bujar Rasim Shesha, born in 1957 and collaborator of the State Security, was indeed the same person as Bujar Ramiz Sheshi, born on December 15, 1957. As a result, Sheshi’s position at the KLP would be unlawful.

In return, Sheshi accused the AIDSSh of being “politicized” and filed a lawsuit against it.

Meanwhile, General Prosecutor Marku defends her decision to form the KLP, claiming that verification by the AIDSSh was a not legal requirement. The Prosecution Office has started an official investigation.