PM introduces new package against organized crime

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 26, 2019 10:04

PM introduces new package against organized crime

Story Highlights

  • In this project, the police also seem to have wide-ranging powers on delicate aspects related to the restriction of persons' freedoms, which appear to run the risk of being in conflict with those of the prosecution, or setting up parallel structures and institutions that are on the rise.

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TIRANA, Nov. 26 – Prime Minister Edi Rama introduced on Monday the highlights of a new legal package that aims to hit organized crime harder. 

The package appears to be similar to that of anti-mafia, in force for many years, but extends its scope further while giving police, according to a project making rounds in the media, many powers that run the risk of conflicting with those of the prosecution.

Rama presented the announced initiative during a meeting with leaders of institutions and the group of Socialist Party MPs. 

In a nearly two hour speech, in a theater scene where he was the sole speaker, the longer part was more of an electoral nature, a balance of his government in some areas, during these six years in power.

Meanwhile the last 30 minutes were dedicated to what was announced as today’s meeting agenda, namely the new measures against organized crime, at a time when, according to him, prosecutors and the court, which has long been considered part of the criminal organization, have become the “Capture What they can Capture,” or the KCK, and are exploiting the pre-vetting period by turning it in what he called “a servant” of organized crime.

“We must intervene with a special law against organized crime and terrorism and pass the entire norm of anti-mafia law at the expense of the subjects of this law, and their families. And every one of them has to prove before the court that his home, his car, his business are the result of his work,” said Rama.

The measures envisaged by Rama will be of three categories, personal, from the prohibition of leaving the country to the restriction of movement in a particular territory, property measures, those related to preventive sequestration while there is proof against the suspect or accused, and those of an economic nature, excluding the right to license or benefit from public funds through contracts or concessions.

Rama also demanded that the intervention of Prosecutorial or Judicial Council for prosecutors or judges committing violations be clarified by law.

It remains to be seen how these interventions have been translated into legal form. One project that is circulating in the media shows that the initiative is similar to the anti-mafia law, but surpassing it in scope. 

In this project, the police also seem to have wide-ranging powers on delicate aspects related to the restriction of persons’ freedoms, which appear to run the risk of being in conflict with those of the prosecution, or setting up parallel structures and institutions that are on the rise.

On Monday, the first eight members of the Special Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime and Corruption, SPAK, were named. 

They are expected to take office on December 19, when they will take an oath to the President of the Republic.

 

Political Reactions

The Democratic Party spoke of “a ridiculous propaganda show” through which according to Secretary General Gazmend Bardhi, Prime Minister Edi Rama, “announced the duplication by law of the SPAK and BKH, giving the police powers that were stripped from the Constitutional Court four years ago.”

“In essence, the law shows no significant new measure from existing laws against organized crime and mafia. The measures introduced today are found either in the Criminal Code, or in anti-mafia law. The only new measure in the KCK law is to take over the competences of SPAK and BKH, giving them to a group under the control of the Prime Minister,” said Bardhi.

The second opposition party Socialist Movement for Integration also opposed the PM’s initiative. 

“Today that the SPAK and the Bureau of Investigation, which has been held hostage by Edi Rama and his group for more than two years, is today launching its famous KCK, its political police,” a SMI representative said. 

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 26, 2019 10:04