From: Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Government Passes Laws Allowing Extrajudicial Surveillance, Arrest, Search, and Passport Confiscation

The Socialist Party government has adopted the controversial “Anti-KÇK Package”, as confirmed by the Minister of Justice Eilda Gjonaj. The package of laws is expected to give the government extra powers over restricting citizens movement, surveil and search without warrant.

KÇK (Kap Ça të Kapësh – grab what you can) is a term coined by Prime Minister Edi Rama to describe prosecutors and judges who before being dismissed by the vetting commission “grab what they can” by abusing power.

In a press statement, the Minister stated that “today’s decisions adopted by the government change the anti-mafia law, the law on confiscated assets and the Criminal Code. The Anti-KÇK package is a normative act that comes into force immediately and deals with the assets of those convicted of participating in a criminal group.

The package will also apply to those that are charged with serious crimes including terrorism, who have not been convicted and move freely. These individuals will have to prove that their wealth is derived from work and not from illegal activity. The State Police, SPAK and the courts will have the right laws to fight organised crime.

This package will be a new mechanism to punish prosecutors that don’t abide by the law and judges who defy the state.”

The law will also de facto establish a special police force at the command of the Prime Minister. This unit will operate outside of the justice system and will have extraordinary power without being answerable to a court.

Under the guise of fighting organised crime and terrorism, the government will be able to investigate any criminal activity, restrict the movement of a person in any territory, confiscate passports, search individuals and their homes, tap and surveil phones and internet, obtain private financial information, and seize assets, all without a court ruling or order.

This law puts the investigation of any person inside Albania for any alleged criminal act, at the mercy of the government investigative powers. It completely circumnavigates the courts and the need for the burden of proof which is a prerequisite in obtaining such orders through a regular judicial process.