From: Exit News
US, EU Ask Prosecutors to Gain Back the Public’s Trust

The US and EU ambassadors to Albania have urged prosecutors to defend the rule of law and serve the Albanian people.

Today, US ambassador Yuri Kim made an appeal to Albanian prosecutors to defend the rule of law, innocents, and refuse to allow the guilty to escape justice, whilst EU ambassador Luigi Soreca said that the time has come for the justice system to be as efficient as possible and to serve the Albanian people.

During a conference organized by the General Prosecutor’s Office on the challenges faced by prosecutors in light of the Justice Reform, Kim stressed her support for the Justice Reform. She admitted that the reform has been hard, but deeply important, adding that “now is the time for prosecutors to regain the public’s trust.” She called for an end to corruption and impunity in Albania, things that were, according to Kim, keeping the country from reaching its full potential.

She asked prosecutors not to allow criminals to flee justice and the innocent to suffer. She insisted on continuing the war against corruption and organized crime that have held the country back.

Soreca said that the recent achievements of the justice system were particularly important for the younger generation of judges and prosecutors.

“Looking at the results we have achieved, we aim to look ahead. The judicial system faces difficulties as a whole and the system needs to be more efficient. Adopt more human rights, conduct more proactive investigations. I know it is easier said than done, but it takes professionalism to move forward,” Soreca said.

He added that the EU has provided €34 million for judicial reforms in Albania and that over the coming years, his institution would be working for a “transparent judicial system” because “justice reform is the engine to make the country move forward.”

Attending the conference were also the head of the High Prosecutorial Council (KLP) Gent Ibrahimi, the chair of the Special Anti-corruption Prosecution Office Arben Kraja, Prosecutor General Ardian Çela, Minister of Justice Etilda Gjonaj, EU ambassador Luigi Soreca, and OSCE ambassador Bernd Borchardt.

Just yesterday the European Commission praised Albania’s efforts in its justice reform, noting that it had delivered “concrete results”. It also observed the progress made in reconstituting the Constitutional Court following the vetting and appointment of new members.

Just a few hours later, several thousand Albanians congregated at the call of President Ilir Meta on the main boulevard of the capital, Tirana, to protest against the erosion of the rule of law, state capture of the judiciary, and the attack on the Constitution by the Socialist Party ruling majority.

Meta gave an example of a new law that removes the requirement for him to swear in Constitutional Court judges, stating it is unconstitutional and a part of a “coup d’etat” to consolidate power and bring Albania under total single-party rule. He signed a decree to nullify the law and said if the government ignored it, he would move to dissolve parliament.