Prime Minister Edi Rama has praised new changes to the law which give extra power to the High Justice Inspectorate (ILD) to launch and oversee investigations into prosecutors and judges. The amendments are a part of the controversial “Anti-Corruption” package passed by the government almost two weeks ago.
“Today we give the ILD a new power which is enabling them to respond promptly to overtly corrupt and criminal decisions of judges, demanding their suspension within three days. Today we have given the ILD the power to immediately suspend them, paving the way for the immediate investigation of the judges in question,” Rama said.
The ILD is led by Arture Metani, a former state attorney under the Rama government and brother of Socialist MP and former minister Eglantina Gjermeni. Exit News has previously explained how the appointment of Artur Methani as ILD is one of the clearest examples of the politicization of the judiciary appointments under the justice reform.
The new changes mean that the ILD will be able to investigate the property of judges and prosecutors who have not yet gone through the vetting process. The ILD will have the right to suspend members of the judiciary and to initiate investigations about them. Through these means, Rama via the ILD is replacing the vetting process by conducting parallel vetting under the control of the government.
The changes raise concerns that they could be used to pressure judges and also that it brings the judiciary under full governmental control.
During his speech in Parliament, Rama also took the opportunity to attack the media once again, in particular those who said that politicians should be the first to have their assets checked under the new laws.
“There is another uproar from those who oppose the package- from media and analysts who are paid by organized crime to say “why don’t you start with yourself, at Surrel” (where Rama’s multi-million euro villa is located).
He added: “It’s not the police who should check the assets of politicians…we are not in 1945.”