Albanian Judge, 9 Others Arrested in Major Operation against Corruption in the Justice System

The Special Prosecution against Corruption (SPAK) ordered the arrests of Judge Enkeleda Hoxha in Kruja and nine other people on Thursday on charges of corruption. The group is suspected to have implemented a scheme for the reduction of sentences and the eventual release of convicts from prison.

The court approved the arrests, and decided for all suspects to be detained in prison during the course of the trial, the authorities announced on Thursday.

It marks a major operation by the SPAK against corruption in the justice system since it started to function in December 2019. 

The list of the arrested include judge Enkeleida Hoxha, lawyer Aldo Tabaku, court secretary Manuela Mallakuçi, who had collaborated in reducing convicts’ sentences and/or release them altogether in exchange of money. Psychiatric-legal expert Shkëlqim Korbi was also arrested on charges of writing false psychiatric evaluations.

Six more persons are also part of the group, and stand accused of actively corrupting officials: Sajmir Petani, Bledar Petani, Altin Skëndaj, Gazmir Nezaj, Gentjan Nezaj, and Isuf Tanuzi.

The officials are suspected of receiving 6 to 12 thousand euros from convicts under the judge’s jurisdiction, in Kruja and Fushe-Kruja. The scheme was made possible through the bonds established between the lawyer, expert, secretary and finally the judge.

Among convicts released by the same judge through the same scheme are suspected to be some of the most notorious criminals in the country, including Endrit Dokle, Hekuran Billo, Genc Tafili and Ilir Paja.