Tirana / KPK Appeals Judge Confirmed on Duty, and Raised Suspects of “Preferential Treatment”

The Independent Qualification Commission confirmed in office Judge Artur Kalaja of the Tirana Court of Appeal, though suspicions of “preferential treatment” were raised in two hearings.

The verdict was announced Friday by a panel led by Pamela Qirko, with rapporteur Alma Faskaj and member Firdes Shuli.

Artur Kalaja started his career in the justice system in 2000. He worked as a judge of the Elbasan Court, while in 2006 he was appointed a member of the Tirana Court of Appeal, a task he continues to perform after 13 years.

Judge Castle was initially only investigated for the property’s criteria, but after a request, the panel decided to open investigations into the figure and professionalism. A request for the exclusion of the relay was rejected during the administrative process as unfounded.

At a hearing on November 6, the KPK raised suspicions of preferential treatment for the judge’s wife, who had acquired three real estate properties on an estate inherited from the family.

The KPK also raised doubts about the “preferential treatment” of Judge Kalaja’s father during a lawsuit over the value of ALL 24 million from the Property Restitution and Compensation Agency in 2015. In this case, the judge stated to HIDAAJI that he had represented his father his proxy, but did not own any part of the money obtained.

According to the rapporteur, the Tirana Court of Appeal judge had failed to document the payment of tax liabilities for the value of ALL 6.2 million obtained from the sale of an apartment and some inaccuracies and omissions were identified over the years.

But Kalaja opposed the findings of the KPK, stating that it had legal resources for his property.

“I think I cover all the expenses and it turns out that I had a surplus every year,” he said during the hearing. “I have no real estate, I only have two assets. I have two kids in public school, ”Kalaja said, seeking confirmation on duty. / BIRN /