SPAK & General Prosecutor oppose police surveillance bill

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times May 29, 2020 13:35

SPAK & General Prosecutor oppose police surveillance bill

TIRANA, May 29 - The Special Anti-Corruption Prosectuion Office (SPAK) and General Prosecutor stated that they stand against the proposal for legal changes which stipulate the wiretapping of phone conversations without a court order and the establishment of the anti-crime committee headed by the Minister of Interior Sander Lleshaj.

According to the two, the establishment of an anti-crime committee under the Interior Minister is unconstitutional and they cannot be part of it because "the General Prosecutor and the head of the SPAK are functions independent of the executive, as stipulated in the constitution."

Moreover, SPAK and the Prosecutor state that the wiretapping and eavesdropping on conversations without a court order is a serious breach of human rights and only the prosecution and not the police have the right to investigate.

However, SPAK agrees on the legal changes proposed by the government only in regard to anti-mafia law.

The Albanian Helsinki Committee welcomed the reaction of the SPAK and the General Prosecutor's Office and "express concern by arguing that the proposed changes to the state police law weaken the independence of the judiciary and jeopardize the right to privacy."

According to the draft law proposed by the Ministry of Interior, Article 131 of the current law on the State Police will undergo several changes, giving the police the competence, without obtaining permission from the prosecution, to eavesdrop the conversations of persons in public places, in public transport vehicles - including phone conversations. Police may also secretly supervise persons suspected of criminal activity and use technical equipment for photographing, filming or recording persons in public places, in addition to using tracking equipment to locate persons.

Moreover, the anti-crime committee is to be chaired by the Minister of Interior, and is foreseen to consist of the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Finance and Economy, the General Prosecutor, the SPAK Director, the Director of the State Intelligence Service, and the General Director of the Police.

The proposal still awaits approval by the Parliament and will be discussed in future sessions.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times May 29, 2020 13:35