From: Exit News
Court Confirms Suspension of Vetting Judge Accused of Falsifying Documents

The Special Anti-Corruption Court has upheld the prosecutors’ suspension of Special Appeal Chamber (KPA) judge Luan Daci.

He is accused of falsifying documents to hide his dismissal as judge in 1997, and will remain suspended while the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecution (SPAK) continues its investigation.

Judge Daci’s lawyer said they will appeal the verdict.

The Friday detention hearing was postponed at the request of his lawyers, due to Judge Daci being sick.

The KPA is the highest institution that vets Albania’s judges and prosecutors in the ongoing justice reform. Judge Daci has been part of dozens of panels that have dismissed judges and prosecutors with a final verdict.

On January 17, High Prosecutorial Council (KLP) member Besnik Cani filed criminal charges against Daci for having hidden his 1997 dismissal on grounds of violating the law and incompetence.

On January 20, Cani asked the KPA to dismiss Daci from its body. The Chamber struck down his request without giving any explanation.

Cani also turned to the Constitutional Court to review the appointment of Daci, and another vetting judge Ardian Hajdari, whose appointment did not comply with the requirements set out in the Constitution.

Judge Daci’s situation was not unknown to judicial institutions, as, in November 2016, only three months before applying to become a member of KPA, Daci had also applied to fill a vacancy in the Tirana District Court. The High Judicial Council (KLD) explicitly stated in its report that Daci’s application was dismissed on the grounds of his previous dismissal. 

Thus, Daci was deemed ineligible to become a district court judge only a few months before becoming part of the vetting body that would monitor the wealth, professionalism, and integrity of the country’s judges and prosecutors.

Following Daci’s suspension by SPAK, former KLP member Antoneta Sevdari reasserted that some members of KPA had been appointed in contradiction to the requirements set out by the law.

Sevdari was dismissed by the KPA in February, 2019, by a judicial body that included Daci. Following her dismissal, she made public documents that allegedly proved Daci had not disclosed his 1997 dismissal. She filed complaints with the International Monitoring Operation (ONM), but they were ignored.

Sevdari took the matter to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming that the Albanian state had breached her right to a fair trial.

Her complaint to the ECtHR follows those of prosecutors Rovena Gashi, Dritan Gina, and Besa Nikëhasani, as well as former Constitutional Court judge Altina Hoxha, who have all filed lawsuits against the Albanian State over their dismissal by the vetting institutions.