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The EU, US and OSCE ambassadors in Tirana urged the main opposition party on Monday to back a government proposal that would strip politicians and judges of their immunity from prosecution.
The three ambassadors held talks on Monday with opposition leader Edi Rama, seeking the Socialists' approval for the reform, which requires a qualified majority in parliament.
“We believe a good job has been done in regards to the reform of [political] immunity,” US Ambassador Alexander Arvizu said after the meeting. “The Socialist Party is expected to be a constructive factor,” he added.
The centre-right ruling majority has recently put before parliament a series of amendments to the constitution, which would strip the Prime Minister, ministers, MPs, judges, the head of the High State Auditing Office and the Ombudsman of their immunity from prosecution and investigation.
The General Prosecutor, Ina Rama, has called repeatedly for the lifting of immunity on high state officials, arguing that the current privileges hinder probes into corrupt officials.
The bill is expected to go for a vote in the assembly on August 6. Although the Socialists have declared support in principle for reform of the immunity system, they have appeared reluctant to support the government-sponsored bill.
Speaking on July 7, Socialist leader Rama said that the amendment to the constitution required more time and debate than was provisioned before the August 6 vote.
“The immunity of high state officials should be lifted or restricted,” Rama said, underlining that such changes required a wide debate in order to respect the spirit of the constitution and not “simple patchwork.”
The Serbian paramilitary who became a key prosecution witness at his former comrades’ trial for war crimes in Kosovo says he had to speak out about the brutal massacres his unit committed.