From: Alice Taylor
EU Delegation Threatens to Sue Activists for ‘Defamatory’ Allegations Following Constitutional Court Meeting

An activist from the Alliance for the National Theater, Adriana Kalaja, has accused the European Ambassador to Albania, Luigi Soreca, of trying to influence the outcome of the pending Constitutional Court decision regarding the demolition of the National Theater.

As a result, the EU Delegation has threatened to sue for “defamatory statements” made in the media.

In a statement, Kalaja said that the meeting between Soreca and the President of the CC, Vitore Tusha, who also sits on the trial panel of the Theater case, was kept secret and nothing from the event was published in the media. 

It’s also claimed that Soreca came “out the back door of the Constitutional Court,” raising concerns about why he would be there on the day a result was due.

Kalaja has called for information regarding whether the meeting was officially scheduled, the object of the talks, and why the conversations were not made public. The Alliance has also requested CCTV cameras from the CC on that day.

“Why was the meeting unlike other meetings and not made public, violating the independence of justice and the Constitutional Court?” Kalaja said, adding such a meeting violated the basis of the constitutional court and the government.

The activist also accused Soreca of lobbying in favor of Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj. The Alliance has not published any evidence to substantiate their claims, just allegations, and requests for information.

The EU Delegation in Albania responded to the accusations shortly after via a statement posted on Facebook.

The statement confirmed that Soreca did indeed meet with Tusha on the morning of 16 June. It states that:

“The meeting was part of a series of meetings that the Ambassador is holding in recent days with all heads of justice institutions to discuss the state of implementation of justice reform in Albania.

During the meeting, there was no discussion regarding the open case in Court over the National Theater. ”

It continues by saying that the EUD and Soreca support the independence of all Albanian institutions. They then threatened to sue the Alliance and Kalaja for defamation, as per comments made in the media.

“The EU Delegation reserves the right to legally pursue the defamatory statements made in the media today.”

The Constitutional Court is currently mulling a decision on whether the demolition of the National theater was illegal and unconstitutional.