24 Jan 2012 / 14:01
Cover-Up of Protestor Deaths ‚Blow to Albanias Reputation‘
Gabriel Partos, an analyst with the Economist Intelligence Unit, tells Balkan Insight that allegations of a high-level conspiracy to cover-up the murder of protestors during the January 21 riots is a further blow to Albanias already tarnished reputation.
|Gabriel Partos | Photo courtesy of the Economist Intelligence Unit|
Q: What picture of Albanian democracy and rule of law emerges from the arrests of three state officials for the murder of protestors and conspiracy to conceal evidence during the January 21, 2011 riots?
A: The new charges are very serious, because they allege a high-level conspiracy within government circles to cover up what appears to have been criminal activity. The charges represent a further blow to Albania’s reputation for upholding the rule of law. It’s a reputation that has already been seriously dented in recent years by the disputes over the results of the 2009 parliamentary elections and the 2011 mayoral elections in Tirana, the killings of the four demonstrators and by the failure of the legal system to produce any convictions of prominent figures who’ve been charged with corruption.
Q: Prime Minister Sali Berisha considers the January 21, demonstration to be a coup détat orchestrated by the general prosecutor, the president, the secret service head and the opposition. He recently threatened to arrest the general prosecutor and the president when they leave office. Should the EU tolerate this sort of behavior from an aspiring candidate state or speak out forcefully against it?
A: Threats to arrest senior officials involved in law enforcement or the judiciary would appear to be a serious interference with justice. It’s incompatible with the separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary, which is a cornerstone of democracy.
The EU tends to choose its words carefully, and it rarely speaks about forcefully, unless it’s dealing with major threats to international peace or large-scale repression by dictatorial regimes. With an aspiring member such as Albania it has different, constructive relations. But its views in relation to Albania are very clear, and Albania’s failure for two years in a row to secure the status of a candidate for EU membership is evidence of the EU’s standpoint on this issue.
Q: What impact will the attacks from Prime Minister Sali Berisha against the general prosecutor and the president have on Albanias EU bid?
A: Albania has no chance of securing EU candidate status until it changes direction. That requires, among other things, the resumption of a constructive dialogue between the government and the opposition, an end to political interference with the judiciary and a genuine attempt to tackle corruption.
The conditions are not too onerous–after all, Montenegro, which started its EU integration process much later than Albania, has already secure candidate status, and is expected to open EU accession talks in June. Incidentally, the decline in democratic standards in Albania has been highlighted by various international surveys, including the EIU’s recently published 2011 Democracy Index, which has tracked Albania’s slide to 87th position (out of 167 countries) from 84th place in 2010 and 81st in 2008.
Interview mit Gabriel Partosh, auf Albanisch
Gabriel Partosh: Prishja e provave nga qeveria, goditje për reputacionin e dëmtuar tashmë të Shqipërisë
24 Janar, 2012 |
23 Jan 2012 / 19:21
Three Arrested for Murder in Albania Deadly Riot
The head of the Republican Guard, his driver and an IT expert from the premier’s office have been placed under house arrest as part of the probe into a deadly protest in January 2011.
In a press conference late on Monday, General Prosecutor Ina Rama announced that her office had ordered the arrests.
The protests on January 21, 2011 turned into a riot when several hundred opposition marchers attacked the police barricade set up to protect the Prime Ministers office, using sticks, stones and Molotov cocktails.
Police responded with tear gas, water cannons and later with live ammunition fire, leaving four protestors dead and dozens wounded.
Prosecutor Rama explained that ballistics tests carried out in the laboratories of the FBI show that one of the bullets found in the body of one of the murdered protestors had come from the weapon of the Republican Guard head, Ndrea Prendi.Tirana
|Republican Guard Head Ndrea Prendi was arrested on suspicion of murder.|
Die dümmsten im Balkan vergessen die einfachsten Dinge nach einem Monat: wie eben Salih Berisha, der erneut nach einem Monat, die Verhaftung der Generalstaatsanwältin und des Präsidenten Bamir Topi ankündigte, nachdem Selbige die Fakten der FBI Beweise akzeptierten und Haft Befehle beantragten, gegen den IT Chef von Salih Berisha und seinem National Guard Chef: Ndreau Prendi
In Albanien arbeitet eine Idioten Mafia, welche zugleich der dümmste Banditen Club der Welt ist und Hunder Mal schlimmer als Gaddafi.