The High Prosecutorial Council (KLP) in Albania has unanimously elected Ms Aida Hajnaj head of the National Bureau of Investigation (BKH).
On Thursday, Hajnaj became the first director of the newly established BKH for a 5-year-term.
She was the only candidate proposed by the Special Prosecution Office (SPAK) for the head of BKH. SPAK excluded three other candidates from the race before proposing Hajnaj’s candidacy, the country’s deputy chief of police, to the KLP.
BKH is a specialized structure of the Judicial Police, which investigates criminal offenses of senior officials and organized crime cases, within the SPAK. It is modeled on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The US Embassy applauded Hajnaj’s election and appointment in this “historic role”, calling it “a major limestone in the implementation of Justice Reform.” They noted that now that all institutions planned in the reform are established, “results will follow, slowly but surely.”
The EU Delegation in Albania stressed the relevance BKH has for Albania, as well as the fulfillment of one of the EU condition’s to start accession talks with Albania.
“This important appointment contributes to further strengthening the operational capacities of law enforcement to fight crime, and to finalise the establishment of anti-corruption and organised crime specialised structures under justice reform, as requested by the EU Council last March when deciding to open accession negotiations with Albania.”
Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, the head of the International Monitoring Operation from the European Commission overseeing Albania’s justice reform also tweeted that this was “another important step in the implementation of the justice reform in Albania.”
Albanian politicians did not comment on Hajnaj’s appointment.
The Opposition Democratic Party (PD) had earlier slammed her candidacy, and accused Prime Minister Edi Rama of attempting to capture the institution through her appointment.
Shortly after, the US Embassy warned against “dreaming that the [BKH] will never be established” and that “justice will never come.”