Artur Metani was elected Albania’s High Justice Inspector last evening in Parliament.
The ILD is the institution responsible for verifying complaints and initiating administrative investigations against judges, prosecutors and members of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council.
The Justice Appointments Council (KED) had ranked Metani first in the list of five candidates. He received 98 votes in yesterday’s parliamentary session.
The other four candidates were Sokol Stojani, Joana Asimi Sorraj, Eris Hysi, and Lindita Troja.
Metani is the brother of former Socialist MP Eglantina Gjermeni and he was a State Attorney until he applied for ILD.
According to the Constitution, the ILD should have been appointed 2.5 years ago. Because the KED became functional only in 2019, the procedure to elect the ILD was launched in March this year, and re-launched in September, after only 4 of the required 5 candidates made it to the final list.
Artur Metani has been the State Attorney since November 2018, appointed by Prime Minister Edi Rama. He also was a legal advisor to the President of Albania for about 10 years, May 2002–July 2012. His candidacy for ILD showed the politicization of judiciary appointments.
In August 2019, the opposition criticized the KED qualification of Metani in the final list of candidates for the ILD post, saying it violated the Constitution and justice reform laws because he had held what qualifies as “political post”. It also argued that the appointment of people close to Prime Minister Rama in key positions in the new justice system has a corrosive effect on the public trust in the independence of the reformed justice system.
In their reaction to Metani’s election yesterday, the Democratic Party (PD) stated:
“Artur Metani, who should guarantee the independence of justice from politics, was nominated today in violation with the Constitution and laws. [This is] a party nomination to one of the key points of the justice system […]”
The PD added in their statement that Metani “will not serve independent justice; he is there to be Edi Rama’s steward.”