From: the Editors
ECtHR Refuses to Explain Adjournment of Albanian Property Cases

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has refused to respond to questions of Exit on its adjournment of Albanian property rights cases in 2016. Last week, Exit reported on the attempts of the Albanian government to influence a judge at the European Court of Human Rights, with the aim of adjourning the treatment of the cases, which risk imposing large financial sanctions on the Albanian state.

However, in its response, the ECtHR mentioned that – allegedly independent from the influence of the Albanian government – it had decided adjourn the Albanian property cases in 2016:

There has therefore not been, nor could there have been, any “agreement” between the European Court of Human Rights and Albania as regards the possible adjournment of the cases in question.

Subsequently, in 2016, the relevant Chamber of the Court decided to adjourn its examination of these cases. However, this adjournment has no connection with the events of 2014. Judge Bianku did not take part in this decision because he had withdrawn from these cases.

In a follow-up email, Exit as the ECtHR Press unit for a copy of the Chamber of the Court decision, and whether the ECtHR was aware of the fact that in absence of a Constitutional Court and High Court, there is currently no legal recourse for Albanians citizens whose property has been illegally confiscated or withheld by the government. However, the ECtHR refused to respond, declaring: “We are afraid that we cannot add anything further to our reply sent to you on 29 August.”

The legal pressure and stress caused by the ECtHR decision and the absence of any functional judicial system in Albania is exacting the toll on the Albanian citizens. Recently, Exit received the following message:

I am the head of family from Tirana and just like all Albanian we didn’t find a solution for our properties with the Albanian state, and we turned to Strasbourg to gain our rights. We have been accepted by the Strasbourg Court, we have been taken into consideration, and currently await the verdict. As a well respected news outlet I ask you as a parent whether you can contact the court when these decisions will come because those bastards in the government are intervening in our right… please help us, you are the only hope for dozens of families that are held hostage by these rogues!

The fact of the matter is that the ECtHR has refused to give details on the adjournment of Albanian property cases, and whether or not influenced by the Albanian government, it has contributed to the utterly lawless and unjustifiable situation in which many Albanian citizens find themselves.