Albania Closer to Forming Special Prosecution to Investigate Politicians

The High Prosecutorial Council (KLP) selected the members of the Special Commission who will evaluate the candidates for the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecution Office (SPAK).

The Special Commission will consist of Arben Dollapaj, Bujar Sheshi, Besnik Cani, Sandër Beci and Tartar Bazaj.

The special prosecution SPAK is a key new institution of the justice reform, focusing on investigating into corruption, organized crime and crimes by high officials, including the President, Prime Minister and deputies. It is independent of other prosecutorial institutions, including General Prosecution. Its 15 prosecutors will be nominated by the High Prosecutorial Council (KLP) for a 9-year term. Prosecutors and their relatives will be subject to control at any time during their term, including phone calls, emails, assets, etc.

With the special prosecution looming, in February the socialist majority changed the parliamentary regulations in an attempt to make it difficult for the SPAK to have MPs arrested. The new regulations expects the special prosecution to present their evidence in a quasi-court hearing at the Council of Mandates in Parliament, which can practically interrogate the SPAK on their evidence and decide whether an MP can be arrested or not.

Now that finally the forming of the special prosecution seems to be on tracks, after long delays in the process of justice reform implementation, it remains to be seen how the change in parliamentary regulations will affect its work.

Starting from April 5th, for six weeks the commission selected yesterday by the High Prosecutorial Council will assess the professional proficiency of the 27 candidates to the 15 seats at SPAK. The assessment will be based on their abilities to investigate, seize assets of organized crime, and on their integrity.

SPAK prosecutors must be confirmed by the vetting institutions with a “final decision”. If elected, several candidates will not be able to start their job until they have passed through the entire vetting procedure. For a full list of SPAK candidates and their vetting process see here.