TIRANA - The class of judges, prosecutors and other employees of Albanian justice were stunned on Wednesday, when they heard from the mouth of the American Ambassador in Tirana, Juri Kim, the unprecedented call not to receive any more money.
"You Albanian judges and prosecutors, you have committed corruption as much as you care, you have sold and bought files, you have made wealth, you have provided for yourself, your children and your children's children, now it's enough," declared Kim at the Constitutional Court conference.
The people of justice were shocked. Some appellate judges began to whisper and ask each other: "How did you say no, how did you say that I didn't hear you well? Stop receiving money? Is this in itself?"
After the conference, people were stunned. The reform in justice was questioned and the blow came from where they did not expect it; from America.
The first to ask to understand something more was judge Fitim Xhepi. Being friends with the prosecutor Xambaz Skuthi, they sat down in the cafe and started talking anxiously.
"For the first time, I did not understand the notion of the ambassador's request. I mean, let's get to the bottom of it: How can you not get money? How does this work, do you understand?", asked Fitim Xhepi.
Xambazi thought a little, then spoke: " Maybe he said it about the cash, the paper lek. That it has taken on a negative connotation as an expression; scrap paper. But I believe that this does not include, for example, the apartment. Or a plot of land, or a car. She didn't say: From now on you won't get any more apartments, will you?'
The following table was joined by their colleagues Skifter Zgrapsi and Akarie Leku. It turned out that they too were at a loss as to what to do next.
"I hope it's a momentary distraction, " pondered the prosecutor Akarie Leku, "otherwise the foundations of justice reform, which we are doing with nails and sacrifices, will be blown up. Well, I had two files to review today, but Juri just froze my blood, I didn't feel like working. And then they say why the capica files are collected...".
Skifter Zgrapsi, relator in vetting institutions, was skeptical:
"I don't believe it was an aberration. I have also heard it from those foreign observers over there. We were deafened, don't take money, don't take gifts! I said to one: Hey sir, how can we not get money, will we bring justice to this country or will we continue with the judges of Saliu? How can we select new judges differently? He saw me as a fan."
Those present sat as if dumbfounded. It hurt that the reform in justice was carried out to this degree. They quietly drank a bottle of 120-year-old whiskey and awkwardly chewed some shrimp.
That's how police chief Hasho Shashaj found them.
"Hey, the cream of the reform, why are you so upset?", he joked. "Leave it alone," they answered, " that American will lead us to a dead end, she asked us not to take any more money."
Hasho's smile froze. He became nervous.
"Well, this black dot," he sighed, "wait now when he shows up at some police conference and tells us to stop dealing with cocaine! This place is over!”
Note / Patronageist is a reformist satirical column