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News 25 Oct 12

Albania Judges Admit Corruption and Bribes

A survey of Albanian judges, published by the Center for Transparency and Freedom of Information, shows that many admit the problem of corruption in the system.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana

According to the survey, which polled 58 per cent of Albania’s judicial contingent, only 18 per cent of respondents said the justice system was not corrupt, 58 per cent described corruption as a perception and 25 per cent believed it was corrupt.

The poll shows that 25 per cent of judges admitted to having paid bribes to receive medical treatment in public hospital, another 20 per cent had paid bribes on occasion, while 45 per cent had never paid a bribe.

Only 33 per cent of judges said they believe that the judicial system in Albania is free from political interference, 50 per cent believe that is partly free and 7 per cent responded that is not free. Ten per cent of the respondents refused to answer the question.

Those described as interfering in court cases included government officials, local politicians, lawyers, MPs and the President’s office.

The performance of the High Council of Justice, a collegial independent body made up of a president, judges and some representatives from parliament, is ranked lower by judges in terms of performance than the Ministry of Justice.

Only 36 per cent of the respondents to the survey believe the Council is doing a good job, while 38 per cent of the respondents believe the Ministry of Justice is doing its job properly.

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