Flash News


The Strasbourg Court rejects the claims of former MP Koço Kokëdhima for unjust expulsion from the parliament

The Strasbourg Court rejects the claims of former MP Koço Kokëdhima

The Strasbourg Court considered the expulsion from the parliament for conflict of interest to be fair and rejected the claims of former deputy Koço Kokëdhima for violation of his electoral rights or damage to his reputation, confirming the validity of the dismissal from office of deputies who, in any way, benefit or do business with public assets. The decision, published on the court's website, criticizes as "regrettable" the fact that the High Inspectorate for the Declaration and Control of Assets and Conflict of Interest did not respond to the MP's request for advice when he was asking about the conflict. possible interest but does not see this as an argument to justify the MP.

Koço Kokëdhima became a deputy of the Socialist Party in 2013 and was expelled in 2016 by the Constitutional Court, which declared his mandate invalid because in a period at the beginning of his mandate as a deputy, the company Abissnet, under the ownership of there were internet supply contracts for various public institutions. Kokëdhima sold the company six months after taking the mandate of the deputy, but this did not convince the Constitutional Court at the time. Before selling it, he had sent a request for interpretation to the High Inspectorate for Declaration and Control of Assets and Conflict of Interest, but had not received a response.

The lack of response was an additional argument for Kokëdhima, who appealed in Strasbourg with the argument that the Constitutional Court's legal interpretation had been too broad while Internet contracts did not provide significant benefits for him. He also complained that his right to private life had been violated because his expulsion from parliament had been widely reported in the media, severely damaging his reputation.

The Strasbourg Court confirmed the position of the Constitutional Court of Albania, rejecting the claim that the deputy was not able to foresee the conflict of interest in the absence of an explanation from the authorities, while the claim for violation of private life was rejected with the argument that the media reporting was a consequence of the actions of himself.

"The Constitutional Court [of Albania] noted the fact that Mr. Kokedhima sold his company just more than six months after the election. The [Strasbourg] court did not find this approach arbitrary or manifestly unreasonable,” a court press release said. "For more, Mr. Kokedhima should have known about the applicable laws and therefore should have foreseen that continuing to benefit from the income generated by contracts with public authorities in his new role as an MP could constitute a conflict of interest."

Article 70 of the Constitution of the Republic of Albania states, among other things, that "deputies cannot carry out any profitable activity that originates from the property of the state or local government, nor can they acquire property of these."

Pursuant to this article, MP Ilir Beqaj lost his mandate in 2011 after a company co-owned by him won a tender from the Municipality of Durrës. While the current member of parliament Olta Xhaçka escaped trial in the Constitutional Court after the socialist parliamentary majority refused to implement the constitution. Xhaçka is accused of having indirectly benefited from a beach area in the service of her husband's business./BIRN

Latest news