Albanian Helsinki Committee: Vetting Is Too Slow, Untransparent

In a recently published report covering the vetting period from September 2017 to April 2018, the Albanian Helsinki Committee (KShH) has criticized the slow pace of the vetting, and warned that this may pose a threat to the access to justice by citizens:

The delays with the timely installation of the [High Judicial Council (KLGj) and High Prosecutorial Council (KLP)] have created a complete paralysis in the occupation of vacant seats in the High Court and the nomination of a General Prosecutor with a full mandate, as well as the installation of the special institutions against corruption and organized crime. […]

The transitional period of the reform of the existing institutions should not obstruct the access of citizens to justice or bring the existing justice system, even if only temporarily, into a collapse or dysfunction.

In the report, the KShH notes that the frequency with which hearings are being held by the Independent Qualification Commission (KPK) are slow with only 1 per week, even though the total number of KPK members would allow 4 parallel hearings to take place.

The KShH also voiced veiled criticism of US Ambassador and International Monitoring Operation Management Board member Donald Lu, who has openly attacked former General Prosecutor Adriatik Llalla, whose case is currently at the Appeal Chamber:

Any person, independent of their official position or public status, has to respect the principle of the presumption of innocence of the judges and prosecutors who are subject of the vetting, by avoiding any form of reaction that could be perceived as direct or indirect intervention in the activity of the Constitutional vetting institutions.

At the same time, the KShH has noticed that several of the institutions assisting in the vetting do not fully disclose their procedures to the public, in violation of the vetting law:

The vetting process continues to be accompanied by a prominent lack of transparency by the assisting organs toward the genera public. […] The High Inspectorate of the Declaration and Audit of Assets and Conflict of Interest (ILDKPKI) and the National Security Agency (DSIK) do not execute the decisions of the Commissioner for the Right to Information […]. The arguments of these two organizations for not giving information are again violation of the Constitutional provisions of the vetting.