During a meeting with representatives of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the US State Department yesterday, High Prosecutorial Council (KLP) chair Gent Ibrahimi has complained about the absence of a building for the institution.
In the coming weeks, the KLP will start the process of hiring a reduced staff after the Socialist majority in Parliament approved several cuts to the justice governance institutions’ staff, and scrutinize the dossiers of the candidates for the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecution Office (SPAK). There is, however, currently no appropriate building to house either the frequent meetings of KLP or its staff, creating not only security but also administrative issues.
The reason the KLP has no dedicated building is simple: It was cut from the budget of the justice reform by the European Commission and the Albanian government in 2017, after the justice reform laws had been passed by Parliament. The “Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA II) 2014–2020. Albania. EU for Justice Reform” report states:
“During May 2017 the Action Plan was revised as well as the cost estimate. Large capital expenditures (new court buildings) of approximately EUR 50 million were removed from the cost estimate reducing it to EUR 98.4 million shown in Table 2.”
As is clear from these tables, it was initially envisioned – before the justice reform was passed – that the judiciary’s buildings would be updated and expanded. However, once the reform was passed, these plans were scrapped, with the current unacceptable situation as a result.
– Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei