Special Appeals Judicial Body Assigned to Re-Assess Prosecutor Prela’s Vetting Donika Prela, Head of Serious Crimes Prosecution

The Head of Serious Crimes Prosecution Donika Prela’s confirmation in duty by the vetting commission will be re-assessed by the Special Appeals Chamber (KPA) following an appeal filed by the Public Commissioner Florian Ballhysa on April 10. Yesterday, the KPA held a draw and assigned the judicial body made up of Natasha Mulaj, Ardian Hajdari, Ina Rama, Luan Daci and Sokol Çomo for the case.

The vetting commission (KPA) confirmed prosecutor Donika Prela in duty on February 5, despite the multitude of legal violations resulting from investigations into her assets. Whilst the KPA has taken dubious decisions and used double standards before, Prela’s confirmation has been the most controversial one to date.

As Exit has previously explained, Donika Prela has allegedly committed tax evasion, failed to pay income taxes, engaged in suspicious and potentially unlawful financial transactions, borrowed money in cash without a legal contract from individuals that could not justify their assets, bought two apartments at a lower price than market average and sold them for profit, for which taxes were not paid.

Yet, the vetting commission made up of Valbona Sanxhaktari, Olsi Komiçi and Roland Ilia confirmed prosecutor Prela in duty by unanimous vote. Moreover, international observer Theo Jacobs of the International Monitoring Operation (ONM) failed to file an appeal against Prela’s confirmation although he had previously raised serious concerns regarding her alleged violations.

On April 10, Public Commissioner Florian Ballhysa filed an appeal to the Specials Appeals Chamber. Ballhysa argued that issues with Prela’s assets were the main reasons to demand an appeal but he required the KPA to re-assess Prela’s confirmation on all the three vetting criteria: asset declaration, professional proficiency and background.

Prosecutor Donika Prela’s hearing date with the Special Appeals Chamber has not been decided yet.