Justice and interest groups in politics

Justice and interest groups in politics
This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.albanianfreepress.al

By Plator Nesturi

The house arrest for former minister Tahiri and the attacks of the Democratic Party against the current Interior minister Xhafaj have been at the focus of the media in the recent days. This relates to the fight against corruption and organized crime, two of the things which will remain permanent requirements for the opening of accession talks between the country and the EU. Unfortunately, this is turning into political war for internal gains and not as a matter of justice. It’s been a while now that politics and justice have swapped roles.  Nonetheless, if we take a look at the statements issued by foreign institutions and embassies concerning the recent arrests, we will notice that it’s not the political class that is praised for them. They “encourage the work of the justice system” in investigating crime and corruption in the country and the arrest of people with criminal records. This means that institutions are the ones who must do their job and this is not done based on the will of one politician or another. At the end of the day, the reform in the justice system aims, first of all, to rescue law enforcement agencies from the control of politics.

The fact that this debate is being held on a political level, shows that our political class is not used at not being at the center of attention and that it should take a step backwards and allow the investigations to continue. Let us recall that six months ago, while Tahiri’s mandate was being discussed in parliament, this case was politicized so much that the Prosecution of Serious Crimes was forced to react about the Prime Minister’s statements regarding Tahiri’s case.

Amid all these accusations that politicians and MPs launch against each other, it looks like Tahiri’s will be handled politically, more than a case which belongs to the justice system. All of these days, despite the debates whether the prosecution had produced convincing evidence that let to Tahiri to be placed under house arrest, it must be said that everyone was clear about the fact that it was politics that had interfered in the justice system. It was obvious that the arguments that have been used by different MPs, although they refer to the law, were mostly political arguments, because this is one of the reasons they’ve been elected in parliament. To do politics and uphold their party’s interests. In this aspect, despite the fact that these are very sensitive investigations, it looks like institutions of justice, the prosecution in particular, will have a more constant communication with the public regarding the ongoing investigations. It would be better if the prosecution reflected the image of an unbiased institution, by stressing that this is the institution in charge of assessing the evidence and not politics. But, the prosecution should not enter political grounds. This would enable prosecution to position itself within the framework of the law.

We’re seeing a wave of accusations being made on the media. These accusations are tarnishing everyone. If the prosecution and the court is more active not only in the investigation, but also in the transparency offered to the public, this would improve their image and will show that the reform is working.  If the public has more trust, the impact of politics on institutions will start to fade.

However, it looks like the game will continue for a long time. Within the political circles, interest groups which are trying to save themselves from the effects of the reform and trying to blame opponents, will likely generate new surprises. A part of them may just be in the form of diversion, but we could even see sins coming out on the surface. Everything is expected and at the end of the day, the ultimate objective is to cut ties between politics and crime.

Note: The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy

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