Balkans News

Albania Starts Vetting Process For Judicial System

Image by Martijn.Munneke

Two days ago, the new Albanian Parliament voted for the vetting process to start. As of yesterday, international experts have been coming to Albania. The European Union office in Tirana stated that Brussels has appointed eight experts from different countries to assist and serve as guards during the process of eradicating corruption in Albanian judicial institutions. These experts, elected by the International Monitoring Operation to supervise vetting process in Albania, will have a long-term job, nearly 5 years together with their staff. Seven of them are from European Union justice and one from the U.S. They will start work immediately, getting acquainted with personal files of judges and prosecutors, and will thoroughly study the purity of everyone connected to Albanian justice.

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The international experts have the right to get information about 800 Albanian judges and prosecutors that are bound to undergo the vetting process and then give their recommendations. They cannot make decisions; the data they present on certain names will be taken as proof from the vetting commission, regarding corrupted officials. Afterwards, it would be difficult for the commission not to take into account such proof.

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Part of this group of experts is Brano Hrvatin, th former Head of Croatian High Court, who will make sure that the Albanian vetting process will definitely follow the Croatian example. These are signals of innevitable arrests at a high judicial level.

Another wellknown name is that of prosecutor Jon S. Leonardo, from Arizona, who served as the Arizona chief prosecutor until the beginning of this year. Other experts are: Theo Jacobs, prosecutor and confiscation expert from Brussels; Ferdinando Buatier de Mongot, a criminal judge in Como Italy: Hans Lijlastra judge of the Amsterdam district since 2002: Mia Roessingh-Bakels, attorney from Rotterdam.

What is notable is that among the group are also some members of EULEX in Kosovo, like: Elka Ermenkova, international judge of Kosovo High Court since 2012 and Marie Tuma, criminal judge of Eulex mission in Kosovo.

The world will be watching to see if Albanian justice is cleared of corruption, or not.

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