Special Prosecution Office Could Not Be Established Soon

Head of the High Prosecutorial Council (KLP) Gent Ibrahimi stated that within September 2019, the KLP will decide on the “optimal number” of prosecutors in the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecution Office (SPAK).

In an interview for journalist Klodiana Lala, Ibrahimi stated:

“10 SPAK candidates are close to getting finalized – 5 have already finished the race and 5 others are at an advanced stage. That’s why I think that for now we will be waiting for 2-3 weeks more.

We will make an assessment based on figures, in order to come up with a decision on the optimal number [of prosecutors] to start the SPAK. In the coming months and years, this structure will undoubtedly be completed with other prosecutors, but the decision for its initiation will be with the Council [KLP], based on the data available to us.”

Art.148/dh/2 of the Constitution stipulates that the SPAK must have “at least 10 prosecutors” to form. One of the four criteria to be a SPAK member, according to the KLP rules, is for each prosecutor to “have passed the vetting process with a final verdict.”

In July 2019, the KLP ranked the 15 SPAK candidates who met the criteria, of which only five prosecutors had passed the vetting with a final verdict, as Mr Ibrahimi also states. Hence, the KLP should wait until 5 more candidates pass the whole vetting process before forming the SPAK.

The SPAK could not be established with less than 10 prosecutors who must have all passed all stages of the vetting process with a final verdict.

According to the Constitution, the SPAK should have been formed in April 2017. Art.179/6 states that “the High Prosecutorial Council shall be established within 8 months from the entry into force of [the justice reform],” and the SPAK should have formed within two months after the forming of KLP.

The justice reform entered into force on 11 August 2016, which means that the KLP should have been formed before 11 February 2017. Instead, it was actually formed one a half years later, in December 2018, thus also obstructing the creation of SPAK.