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Judge Avni Sejdi opposes the problems of wealth and professionalism

2024-01-16 22:33:00, Vetingu CNA
Judge Avni Sejdi opposes the problems of wealth and professionalism
Judge Avni Sejdi

Judge Avni Sejdi of the Administrative Court of the First Instance of Tirana, on Monday, January 15, faced the Independent Qualification Commission, KPK, when during the hearing he gave explanations for the financial impossibility of creating assets, as well as for problems in the professional criteria. Meanwhile, he was positively evaluated for the cleanliness of the joint.

The vetting process for Judge Sejdi is being carried out by the KPK body headed by Roland Ilia, with rapporteur Genta Tafa Bungo and member Suela Zhegun. Marie Tuma was present as an international observer.

Avni Sejdi started his career in the justice system as an assistant judge in 1996 and in 2000 he was appointed as a judge in the Court of Mirdita. In 2007, Sejdi was transferred to the Court of Puka and since 2013 he has been working at the Administrative Court of First Instance in Tirana.

Rapporteur Bungo stated at the beginning of the hearing that the subject had not fully cooperated with the Commission, as he had not made available the required documents.

Financial shortages

For an apartment in Tirana ordered in 2004 against the price of 4 million and 720 thousand lek, judge Sejdi has declared as sources salaries, two loans, a loan, donations from brothers and income from the sale of a vehicle.

From the preliminary financial analysis, it was found that the entity did not have the opportunity to create a cash balance in the amount of 300 thousand ALL in 2003, when it resulted in an impossibility in the amount of 1 million and 198 thousand ALL. Consequently, these savings were not considered in the financial analysis.

No problems were found for payments made through loans in the amounts of 400,000 ALL in 2005 and 700,000 ALL in 2007. Meanwhile, it was found impossible to pay them off in 2009.

A similar situation was found for the loan relationship, where the lender was financially able, but the subject's inability to return it was noted.

For the donations from the brothers in the total value of 27 thousand euros, the subject stated that he received them by hand. Bungo said that the investigations of the KPK on the entry and exit of the brothers in Albania have resulted in inconsistencies and therefore Judge Sejdi has changed his position after this finding of the KPK.

According to the reporter, the subject made an incorrect statement that it seems he made to improve his situation.

In the following, it was evident that Sejdi also submitted a notarial statement related to the transactions related to the resources of the apartment, in which there were false data marked with the aim of improving the financial situation.

Also, it was established that Sejdi sent his brother a value that was then returned, in order to justify the financial resources in 2007.

KPK finds that the donations seem to have been declared only when the entity made the payments and when it did not have sufficient income.

Rapporteur Bungo emphasized that Sejdi did not make available to the KPK documents to prove his statements and it seems that he did so to achieve a positive result.

According to the Commission, the entity failed to prove the legality of the income claimed to have benefited from the use of agricultural land in the village.

From the financial analysis carried out for the apartment, there was a negative balance in the amount of 1 million 399 thousand ALL in 2004 and 348 thousand ALL in 2007.

Sejdi has a negative balance in the amount of 150 thousand ALL for the purchase of a vehicle in 2012 for the price of 300 thousand ALL, with income from work.

Subsequently, Bungo found that the subject signed a fictitious contract for a loan, as he himself explained that he sold the borrower a car, but because he could not repay the value, they agreed to sign the loan contract in the amount of 5000 euros. According to the KPK, judge Sejdi did not mark the sale of this tool in the "veting" statement and it seems that the fictitious actions do not comply with the magistrate's ethics.

Suspicions of fictitious actions were also raised by KPK for a loan declared by the subject as taken from his brother, to cover the expenses of his wife's medical treatment in France. According to the KPK, it seems that the brother did not have the financial ability to grant the loan and also, the subject did not have the opportunity to repay it.

The financial investigation showed that a lawyer returned to the subject in 2010 a loan taken a year ago in the amount of 40 thousand ALL, while it turned out that he reviewed 40 cases with this lawyer. According to Bungo, three of the cases were judged in the period when the lending relationship existed and therefore the subject was in the conditions of a conflict of interest.

From the preliminary general financial analysis, a total negative balance in the amount of ALL 3.9 million resulted.

Judge Avni Sejdi stated at the beginning of his explanations, that all the property he owns consists of an apartment in the amount of 4.7 million Lek and a car of 300 thousand Lek. He added that he had previously had another vehicle that he had sold.

Regarding the agricultural land, he explained that he had benefited from the "Land" law and another plot he had inherited from his father.

"It is a modest fortune for my contribution from 1996", declared Sejdi.

He described the Commission's financial analysis as lacking in economic logic, pointing out that his salary income alone was 16 million ALL.

The subject requested the change of the financial analysis, insisting that the income from agricultural land be considered, from 1993 onwards. He claimed that the inclusion of this income would significantly reduce the amount of vital expenses in years.

Sejdi asked to consider the parents' pensions, arguing that they had lived together until 2000.

He also requested that in the analysis, per diems and income from additional hours as an assistant judge and judge be considered, as well as to reduce travel expenses to arrive at work during the years 2007-2013. According to the subject, the calculation made for five days each week round trip did not hold. He claimed that he used the office for accommodation as it was a long distance and he could not travel every day.

"I request the correction of the financial analysis and come out with a positive and not a negative balance", Sejdi concluded his submissions about the property.

Professionalism

Rapporteur Bungo found that the subject was asked about delays in the reasoning of decisions. From the verification of archival data, it was established that a citizen filed a complaint with the former KLD for the judge's communication with low words. According to Bungo, it seems that the subject has used offensive and threatening language, violating public trust.

Out of 22 denunciations that have been submitted to the KPK by the public, for 9 of them the burden of proof has been passed to Sejdi. Rapporteur Bungo listed the findings for these denunciations, evidencing that the subject seemed to have judged under conditions of conflict of interest; that he did not analyze and justify the decisions infringing the property rights of the parties; he did not express himself for a part of the lawsuits by not arguing the decisions; and that he did not respect the trial deadline.

From the verification of two public denunciations, in one case it was found that the subject's decision is unsubstantiated and not based on evidence, while the other seems unclear and incomplete, as contradictory positions have been presented.

According to Bungo, the existence of a series of erroneous judgments renders the subject professionally unfit. She added that insulting and threatening expressions seem to violate the ethics that a magistrate should have.

"For professionalism, I did not think that my integrity would be questioned", declared judge Sejdi.

He emphasized that he had judged within the legal deadline. According to him, the deadlines are defined in the law and not in the decisions of the former High Council of Justice, KLD and the High Judicial Council, KLJ.

As for the submission of the reasons for the decisions, he said that this had happened as a result of the high work load. The subject claimed to have reviewed twice the rate of cases.

Next, judge Sejdi brought to attention the powers of the Commission for carrying out the re-evaluation of magistrates. According to him, vetting institutions cannot be evaluated on the basis of judgment carried out by the subjects. He asserted that the KPK should deal with the procedural aspect and the form of the decision, without replacing the trial of the case. "Substantive analysis contradicts the legislation and is the competence of the higher courts", he asserted.

Sejdi objected to the finding of the situation in the conditions of the conflict of interest in the trial of the cases with his lawyer friend, to whom he had given a loan. According to him, when the loan relationship existed, he did not discuss any issues with that lawyer.

"When the exact date of granting the loan has not been determined, it cannot be alluded to", he asserted and argued that there could be no interest, as he was in the role of the lender. "It makes no sense to favor him for my money. Otherwise, I would be a borrower", affirmed Sejdi and added that because of the duty he exercises, he is friends with prosecutors and lawyers, but that this would not prevent them from being part of the court proceedings.

According to the subject, the Commission did not analyze whether it had favored any of the parties represented by this lawyer, and therefore it could not come to the conclusion that there was a conflict of interest.

Judge Sejdi pointed out that the period of re-evaluation of professionalism is for the years 2013-2016, but Bungo found that this time limit did not include denunciations.

In conclusion, Judge Sejdi stated that everyone judges himself before others judge him and asked for his confirmation in office.

KPK announced that the decision will be announced on January 17, at 09:50./ Reporter.al

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