Analysis 06 Feb 18

Albania’s ‘War on Crime’ Leaves ‘Big Fish’ Untouched

The US ambassador to Albania, Donald Lu, raised expectations last November when he said he looked forward to seeing ‘big fish’ in the net of justice ‘by early next year’ – but months on, little has changed.

Gjergj Erebara

The US embassy's Facebook page posted a cartoon of US ambassador Donald Lu in a small boat, fishing. The cartoon was a referrence to Lu's statement that he expect Albania's fight against organised crime and corruption would result in the arrest and prosecution of "several big fish".

While Albanian officials are good at signing agreements on fighting crime and corruption, despite their many promises to start dealing with high-profile cases, none has ended up in court so far.

On February 1, Interior Minister Fatmir Xhafaj appeared in the media signing an agreement on collaboration between his ministry and the new temporary General Prosecutor, Arta Marku.

Under the agreement, the prosecution agreed to form “Temporary Special Sections” in each of its branches to fight serious crime.

Once again, Minister Xhafaj emphasised the importance that Edi Rama’s government attaches to the fight against crime.

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