The opposition Democratic Party (PD) has accused the General Prosecutor’s Office headed by Arta Marku of attempting to delay investigations into Mayor of Vora Agim Kajmaku by “illegally justifying” his failure to submit his fingerprints, which they claim should have resulted in Kajmaku’s removal from office.
The opposition has accused Agim Kajmaku of hiding his criminal past under his alleged alias name Jorgo Toto, in the decriminalization form.
Prosecutors would allegedly have Agim Kajmaku’s fingerprints verified against those of Jorgo Toto, against which an arrest warrant by Greek authorities is allegedly still valid.
Whilst Kajmaku has admitted his past identity under the alias name of Jorgo Toto, he has denied having been “convicted or expelled” by Greece. However, the opposition has not alleged any of these. They have accused Kajmaku of fleeing Greece while awaiting trial, after which an arrest warrant was issued against him under the name of Jorgo Toto.
Kajmaku has not declared this in his decriminalization form. If opposition allegations are true, he could stand criminal charges for hiding his past criminal activity before running for public office.
Last week Kajmaku failed to comply with the 5-day deadline to submit fingerprints, following a General Prosecutor’s Office request.
The PD stated that in such a case, Art.8 of the Decriminalization Law should have been implemented which requires the subject to be declared unfit for and removed from office.
Art.8/6 of the Decriminalization Law:
“In any case of verification, it is mandatory to use the dactyloscopic prints and any other biometric data stored in the database for identification of Albanian citizens. When dactyloscopic prints and/or other biometric data of the citizen [whose identity is] being verified are not available, the verifying body requires the citizen to deposit this data within 5 days, in accordance with legal procedures of citizens’ identification and provision with IDs. In case of refusal to deposit the dactyloscopic prints, the person is treated as if having been found in one of the circumstances that constitute a condition for being banned [by this law to hold public office.]”
On September 4, the prosecution released a statement blaming the national postal service for having “mistaken the address” and for having “not yet been able to deliver the request” to Mayor Kajmaku. It added the request was sent to Kajmaku on August 26.
“It was requested from citizen Agim Kajmaku to deposit his dactyloscopic prints to the Police Forensic Institute, and for the latter to send them to the General Prosecutor’s Office but no reply to the request has been administered yet. Checks with the secretary of the General Prosecutor’s Office showed that the postal service (General Directorate of Postal Services) has mistaken the address of subject Agim Kajmaku and has not yet been able to deliver the request.”
The prosecution also stated on August 28 it had already administered Kajmaku’s fingerprints from the database of ALEAT, the company that prepares biometric passports in Albania. It’s not clear why this was not done before, and why Kajmaku was requested to submit his own fingerprints in the first place. Art.8/6of the Decriminalization Law requires the prosecution to request fingerprints directly from the subject when they are not available in the database.
However, the prosecution claim was quickly rebuked by the Postal Service on the same day. They argued the request was delivered on time at the secretary of Municipality of Vora, according to the address, and that this was “easily verifiable” through their documentation.
The opposition stated it was “absurd and illogical” for the General Prosecutor’s office to claim to have checked the activity of Postal Services with its own (GP’s) secretary, and to have concluded that the former had “mistaken the address”. They added this would be possible only if the postal services returned the request to the prosecution office due to the wrong address, which was not the case.
The Democratic Party claimed the prosecution office press release was an “illegal justification” not to have Mayor Kajmaku removed from office after he failed to comply with their request.
They officially requested to be provided with information on all steps taken by the prosecution regarding Kajmaku’s case.
The PD specifically asked whether the prosecution office had checked with the Postal Services if Kajmaku had received their request to submit fingerprints. If not, why? If yes, why was Kajmaku not removed from office for failing to comply with Art.8 of the Decriminalization Law, the opposition asked.