Saranda judge sentenced to 4.5 years for corruption

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 28, 2016 05:18

Saranda judge sentenced to 4.5 years for corruption

TIRANA, Oct. 24 - A Saranda judge has been sentenced to four years and six months in prison, following a corruption scandal in which he was convicted of illegally demanding €80,000 to resolve a civil case in favor of one of the parties involved in a trial.

Judge Rasim Doda was detained by police in June 2015 after prosecutors obtained permission by the High Council of Justice to make the arrest.

Prosecutors said Doda had asked for the amount from one of the parties involved in the trail to rule in their favor.

However, when the party refused to pay the bribe, the former judge ruled in favor of the other side.

At the time of the arrest, prosecutors found evidence of the wrongdoing in Doda’s computer. He had allegedly written up a ruling in favor of the side where the bribe had been solicited and even showed it to the parties interested in the ruling. However when the bribe did not materialize, Doda deleted the ruling from his computer.

Prosecutors at the High Court called for a sentence of five years in prison and for Doda to be stripped of courtroom duties for three years. During this time, Doda was detained in house arrest and insisted that charges are “a trap” and that investigation against him is “biased.”

In 2009, High Council of Justice started disciplinary proceedings against Doda for offenses while on duty. In 2010, Doda was indicted on charges of insult. Five years later, The High Inspectorate of Declaration and Audit of Assets and Conflict of Interests pressed charges for him and his wife who is also a judge in Saranda for failing to disclose assets and fake declaration of wealth.

Last year, the special Parliamentary Commission on Justice Sector Reform published a report whose findings revealed that corruption is entrenched at all levels of the country’s justice system.

The 336-page dossier of findings alleged that judges get paid costs between €60,000 to €80,000 to alter a sentence while prosecutors accept between €1,000 and €2,000 not to press charges.

According to the report, judges “pay between €100,000 to €300,000 to the High Council of Justice to secure better posts where they are able to extract higher sums in bribes.”

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 28, 2016 05:18