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KPK lists the arguments/Reasons for the dismissal of judge Lazër Sallaku

2023-07-31 18:31:00, Vetingu CNA
KPK lists the arguments/Reasons for the dismissal of judge Lazër Sallaku
Judge of the Court of Tirana, Lazër Sallaku

The judge of the Court of Tirana, Lazër Sallaku, was dismissed from office by the Independent Qualification Commission on May 26, 2023 after it was concluded that there were no legal sources to justify the creation of assets. In the meantime, he received a positive assessment for the cleanliness of the image, while for his professionalism he was awarded the qualification level, since no procedural violations or non-respect of the rights of the parties were found.

The decision to dismiss Sallak was taken by the KPK body headed by Pamela Qirko, with rapporteur Brunilda Bekteshin and member Roland Ilian.

Lazër Sallaku worked as a lawyer before starting his career in the justice system and later as an inspector of the High Council of Justice in 2007. He was appointed a judge in 2010 and first served in the Durres Court. From 2013 until his dismissal from office, he worked as a judge in Tirana.

The greatest financial impossibility of Sallak has come as a result of not justifying the legality of the source of a value of 40 thousand euros declared as a gift to his ex-wife by her mother, much of which was used for the purchase of an apartment and a garage in Tirana .

According to the decision of the KPK, Sallaku has failed to convince the troop, both with the legal reasoning and with the evidence and arguments presented.

As sources of creation for the apartment with an area of ??86.3 m2 and a garage with an area of ??22.9 m2 in the capital, the subject has declared the income from his wages, the income from the wages of his ex-wife; the gift given to the ex-wife by her mother; as well as the ex-wife's share of her father's inheritance. He noted in the "vetting" statement that the value of this property is 46,332 euros and that he owns 50% of the taxable portion.

Meanwhile, it turned out that after submitting the vetting statement, this property was registered in the name of judge Sallaku. Also, it turned out that he received a loan in November 2017 in the amount of 36 thousand euros, for the purpose of compensation for the division of marital property, the purchase of the ex-wife's taxable share in this apartment, property that was placed as a mortgage guarantee .

The commission finds that the change of ownership of the apartment, being registered only in the subject's name, came about because of the divorce and the agreement expressed between him and his ex-wife in the property division agreement.

According to the agreement, it has been agreed between the parties that the property apartment + garage will be transferred in the name of the subject of the revaluation, with the condition that he will have to pay the ex-wife AS the amount of 45 thousand euros.

In 2017, Sallaku declared the payment of 45,000 euros, with a loan origination of 11,000 euros and loans in the amount of 36,000 euros, for which no problems were found.

But, according to the Commission, the entity has not proven the legality of the sources of creation of these assets. The decision states that the salaries of the subject and his ex-wife, as two of the stated sources, are confirmed.

Regarding the gift given to his ex-wife by her mother in the amount of 40 thousand euros, it turns out that Sallaku declared this circumstance in 2012. During a record held in 2014 at the ILDKPKI, the subject stated that the source of this amount are the part given by the ex-wife's brothers from the properties they had in the city of Durrës.

He submitted as evidence a payment mandate from 2004, which specifies the withdrawal made by the ex-wife's mother of an amount of 46,200 euros. Meanwhile, he clarified that he does not have documentation for the assets sold in Durrës.

When asked by the Commission, Sallaku reiterated that this amount was donated by the mother of his ex-wife, who disposed of it long before the marriage with her daughter and long before they had established a relationship.

He has claimed that he has no communication with his ex-wife who, according to him, has created another family in Italy, where her mother also passed away. The entity has emphasized that the mandate for the amount withdrawn in 2004 proves the legal source of the donation.

However, KPK has established that the ex-wife's mother did not have any assets in her name.

"The documentation filed by the subject as in the minutes kept at ILDKPKI in 2014, even during the administrative investigation, to prove the legal source of the donated amount of 40,000 euros, is insufficient and, under these conditions, it seems that the source is not proven of creation" , is cited in the results of the preliminary investigation of the KPK.

Not considering in the analysis the amount donated by the ex-wife's mother, Sallaku has resulted in a negative balance in the amount of 4.8 million lek in 2012 for creating a cash balance of 40 thousand euros and covering expenses. From the preliminary financial analysis, negative balances were found for savings in the years 2010 and 2011, respectively in the amounts of 167 thousand ALL and 1.1 million ALL. Consequently, during the period 2010-2012, a negative balance was found in the total amount of 6.1 million ALL, resulting in the impossibility of purchasing the apartment and the garage, findings for which the burden of proof was transferred to Sallak.

He has insisted that the burden of proof should not be passed on the amount that was given to his ex-wife by her mother, arguing that that value was created long before the marriage and acquaintance between them and therefore has nothing to do with the revaluation process.

The KPK rejected the subject's arguments to avoid the reassessment of the amount donated to the ex-wife.

"[…] The judicial body considers that the circumstances on which this claim is raised are subject to the legal obligation that the subjects of the revaluation have, according to Article D, point 3 of the Annex to the Constitution and Article 30 of Law no. 84/2016, in relation to the factual situation of this case and the consequences of the non-provability of this income in the process of its reassessment" , the Commission states and assesses that the law on vetting charges the subject and the other related person that, within of the confirmed donation relationship, justify the legality of the source of the creation of the amount in question, which served to create the wealth that the subject has benefited from.

KPK notes that the apartment was acquired when the subject was married and in office, when initially Sallaku and his ex-wife were buyers, while currently he is the sole owner.

Also, it is established that the subject has continuously possessed this property, starting from 2012 when he lived on rent.

"The subject has a contribution to this property, which is a derivative of marital savings in cash, including the donation from 2012 until 2014 when the payments were made, when the subject was also in office", the decision is quoted and added the fact that it is an asset listed in the "veting" declaration means that the subject had the legal obligation to convincingly explain the source of its creation.

In the decision, it is stated that the ASHK institution did not in any case confirm assets in the name and account of the subject's mother-in-law, in any way of profit. This fact has remained unchanged even when the subject has presented explanations in function of the burden of proof.

"Despite the subject's position at the hearing that it is impossible to find documentation due to the divorce and other circumstances, the court finds that the subject during this process did not make any attempt to prove the legal source of the donated amount ” , is cited in the decision, which clarifies that this assessment is based on the fact that Sallaku did not make any effort to dispose of the required documentation at the time when he was married and cohabiting with his mother-in-law, as he stated.

Regarding the negative differences in the years 2010 and 2011, the subject claimed that they were determined as a result of not calculating the amounts benefited from the sale of a "Mitsubishi" type vehicle and a small boat.

Referring to the jurisdiction of the KPA, the Commission assesses that these amounts cannot be calculated as long as they are not declared by the subject as a cash balance, a fact that was also accepted by him.

The conclusions of the Commission's preliminary investigation regarding the negative balances remained unchanged, which were considered sufficient circumstances for the dismissal of judge Lazër Sallaku./ Reporter.al

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