By Leonard Bakillari –
A decision of the Tirana District Court found that the prosecution office carried out no investigative action following a citizen’s report for forgery, in which she accused an employee of a mobile communication company for forgery. The court demanded the accusing party to collect evidence: “It was found that the criminal file examined for this case is composed of only 13 pages”.
It is uncommon for a court to receive an investigative file comprising only 13 pages. In addition, it seems that the prosecution office, has decided based only on this short material to cease the investigation against the above-mentioned employee. It is worth mentioning again that she was being investigated for the criminal offense of forgery. The decision of the Tirana District Court, dated on May 21, 2013, revealed this flagrant case handled by the prosecution office and has subsequently ordered the latter to properly investigate the case, since the case file according to the court is incomplete.
Facsimile of part of the court’s decision, showing the 13-page content of the case file prepared by the prosecution
The court’s decision reads: “This is what the court could ascertain, based on the criminal case file of 13 pages (the denunciation of the crime and an attached contract), examined by the court. Furthermore, the court ordered the accusing body, in this case the Tirana Prosecution Office, to carry out further investigative action for the case. The decision continues: “The court has found that the accusing party, after the report filed by the citizen S.Sh, has failed to take any kind of evidence, and even summon the person who reported the case, and has at the end decided as above-mentioned”.
The story begins in February 8 this year, when the citizen S.SH. denounces the case in question to the Tirana Prosecution Office. According to her, an employee of a Tirana mobile communication company committed the offense. A civil suit that the mobile company had earlier filed with the court against the citizen S.Sh. served as the motive for this accusation. As per the suit, the above-mentioned citizen owes the company an amount of ALL 280.000. However, the defendant claims that her signature was forged, since as she assumes, she never signed the contract, as claimed by the mobile company. For her signature forgery, she accuses one of the company’s employees, the citizen E.S.
Thus, on February 8, 2013, the citizen S.Sh. reported the crime of forgery to the Tirana District Court. Only five days later, on February 13, 2013, the prosecution office issued a decision: “To not undertake criminal proceedings for case no. 1108, dated February 8, 2013”. Informed of such decision, the denunciator decided to take her case to the court, in order to challenge the prosecution’s decision, demanding its abrogation and the continuation of investigations.
After examining the case file, the court ascertained that the accusing party had carried out no investigative activity, prior to taking such a decision. What is worse is that the criminal case file contained only 13 pages. As a rationale for not initiating an investigation, the prosecution used the civil suit filed by the mobile communication company against the denunciator. “The case in question is related to a civil dispute between the parties, which is being adjudicated by the Civil Chamber of the Tirana District Court; therefore, as long as this Court has made no request to the accusing party for a technical and graphical expertise, there is no ground to initiate an investigation activity”, the prosecution decision reads.
Facsimile of the Court’s Decision
The Tirana District Court challenges the rationale used by the prosecution office, claiming that the accusing party had carried out no investigative activity regarding this case. The decision’s rationale prepared by Judge Sokol Tona, states that the procedure followed by the prosecution office is scarce and insufficient for an accurate conclusion to be reached. Such a conclusion, according to the court, should have been the result of a complete and comprehensive investigation. “The court reaches this conclusion based on the accusing party’s rationale, according to which the case in question is related to a civil dispute between the parties, which is being examined by the Tirana District Court. The latter has not referred the case to the accusing body, since it has found no sound legal motivation in it”.
The court deems that this type of case needs investigative action by the prosecution, such as, summoning and questioning, gathering thorough information related to the claimed criminal offense, as well as other investigative procedures. The court holds that the prosecution’s acts are incomplete to reach to such a decision. The court’s decision follows with: “Based on the acts processed by the accusing party, the court deems those as incomplete, prompting thus the need to undertake a more complete and thorough investigation.
The court has assigned some tasks to the prosecution for the proper investigation of this case, thus overruling the decision taken earlier by the prosecution to not initiate the criminal proceeding. According to the court, to reach an accurate conclusion regarding the claimant’s accusations, the prosecution office should order a technical and graphical expertise by specialists of the field. “The scientific conclusions of such expertise shall serve to clarify whether the facts presented and claimed by citizen S.Sh. in this criminal case are true”, the court’s decision reads.
This is not the first time the court overrules the prosecution’s decisions to not initiate criminal investigation, or even rule to cease the current investigations for specific cases. Referring to the data on the Tirana District Court’s official website, it results that during January-May 2013, there have been 100 cases with the object “challenging the prosecution’s decision”. Out of these, the court has decided to accept 17 requests from citizens or companies and has ordered the prosecution office to continue with the investigation activity.
The court has overruled 31 such requests and has decided to cease 14 cases, because the claimants had failed to appear in court in the scheduled session dates. Some of them have decided to withdraw their suits against the prosecution, therefore inducing the court to issue the decision to cease the cases.
Furthermore, as per the official website of the Tirana District Court, it results that at least 38 criminal claims are still under examination. The object of these cases is “challenge of the prosecution’s decision” that citizens, businesses or various private companies have filed with the court. It is worth mentioning that in all the cases the claimants have demanded the court to compel the prosecution office initiate the investigation of their cases, claiming that the earlier decisions of the prosecution have been ungrounded.
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