The Albanian government has blamed the judiciary for the recent 2 incidents that have led to the deaths of at least 8 people, sparking public uproar.
In a press conference on Monday, Minister of Interior Bledar Çuçi exonerated the police from last week’s deaths.
“The police […] cannot follow every car on the road, and it cannot prevent an incident between two neighbors at 1 am,” he stated.
A family of 4 lost their lives last week after their car was hit from behind by another vehicle driving at extremely high speed.
On Sunday, 4 people were killed after members of two families owning adjacent hotels by the seaside engaged in an armed conflict over who has the right to use the beach area for their businesses.
In both cases, there was a strong public outcry on social media. Albania’s president and the opposition called on the government to take measures to prevent a repeat of these situations.
The opposition blamed the government and the police for failing to control the roads and the territory.
In his response, Minister Çuçi called on the public to reflect on the recent incidents, adding that “more than anyone else, it is the judges who have not yet passed their vetting” who bear the responsibility for these events.
He accused 3 prosecutors and 2 judges for their decisions to free 3 people arrested by the police in June for carrying guns without a license. These cases are unrelated to recent events.
“It is our belief, that the rulings of some other judges regarding traffic accidents leading to death or injury are scandalous and they misinterpret the law,” the minister added.
He called on the High Inspectorate of Justice to investigate the magistrate’s work in these cases.
The minister dismissed claims that rates of crime and fatal traffic accidents have increased, stressing that the opposite is true.
All the while, Çuçi promised to replace police directors in Albania’s districts starting this week. He said this was part of a reform planned earlier but that was brought forward as a response to the latest incidents.