From: Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Victims Denounce EU’s ‘Tacit Approval’ for Return of Communist Crimes Perpetrators to the Reformed Justice System

Albania’s Anti-Communist Politically Persecuted Association expressed its concern about links to Albania’s dictatorship past of certain individuals appointed to new justice system institutions.

Nebil Çika, the Chairman of the Association penned an open letter to Genoveva Ruiz-Calavera, the Director for Western Balkans at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations and Chief of the International Monitoring Operation (ONM) asking for her support. The ONM is set up to oversee the vetting process under the Albanian justice reform.

The letter states that after 45 years of communist dictatorship during which they have been victims of communist injustice, recent developments in the rule of law and judicial reform are causing “regret and concern”.

“Our main concern is a phenomenon that we consider a serious threat to the Albanian justice […] the return to the lead of the justice system of perpetrators of communist crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, while all this is happening under your tacit approval, if not with your blessing,” the letter said.

Çika explained how former members of the Sigurimi secret State Security Directorate under the communist regime, political police and prosecutors and judges who levied punishments against persecuted persons, including torture, death and imprisonment, have been appointed to the new justice institutions.

The letter goes on to detail some “flagrant cases” of Communist figures being returned to power.

“1-Appointment to the Special Anti-corruption Prosecution Office (SPAK) of Arben Kraja, a former State Security Investigator in Shkodra 1987-1992.

2-Appointment to Deputy Prosecutor General of Thoma Jano, investigator of State Security in Kruja in 1980-1991, and author of dozens of communist political investigative processes.

3-Appointment of Ardian Dvorani as head of the Council of Justice Appointments (KED)- a communist prosecutor who has issued severe political sentences to opponents of the communist regime in Shkodra, including those who toppled Stalin’s statue in 1990.

4- Appointment to the High Judicial Council (KLD) of Fatmira Luli, a judge during the dictatorship who condemned citizens for taking part in protests that toppled Enver Hoxha’s statue on February 20, 1991, or for entering embassies in attempts to leave Albania.

5-Appointment to the High Prosecutorial Council (KLP) of Bujar Sheshi, a former State Security investigator, responsible for many arrests and political convictions in Fier, according to the Authority for Information on Documents of the former State Security (AIDSSh), and collaborator of State Security Directorate.

6- Appointment to the High Prosecutorial Council (KLP) of Nurihan Seiti, a judge under the communist dictatorship, who has convicted several people on charges of propaganda and for attempting to cross the border.”

Çika expresses his “sincere disappointment” and adds that if the previous State Security is allowed back into the justice system, Albania will return to “communist justice” and “dictatorship”.

Another notable former communist in a position of power is Speaker of Parliament Gramoz Ruçi who was Minister of the Interior during the end of the communist dictatorship at a time when people were executed for trying to escape the country. His position is the second most powerful in Albania, preceded only by that of the President.