Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the Anti-Corruption Symposium Closing

The Honorable President Bujar Nishani, ladies and gentlemen,

In the three days of this conference you have heard how corruption has been  fought in Romania, Croatia and the United States.  In each of these cases, it was not fought by foreigners, but instead it was fought by courageous prosecutors, policemen, journalists and judges from those three countries.  It was not achieved by foreigners and it was certainly not achieved by politicians.

So the question I leave you with is how will high-level corruption be fought in Albania?

It starts with the vetting of judges and prosecutors early next year.  Once enough prosecutors have been vetted, the clean prosecutors will select members of the High Prosecutorial Council.  The High Prosecutorial Council will select a chief prosecutor for the Special Structure on Anti-Corruption (SPAK).  The senior prosecutors of the SPAK will select a director of the National Bureau of Investigation (BKH).

Great care has been taken to build a system that is independent and isolated from political pressure.  It will also require that the Albanian people watch this process very closely to assure that no single politician, no single judge and no single prosecutor is able to manipulate or influence the outcome of this system.

We also are grateful for the wise guidance of the Venice Commission.  I agree with Dr. Sali Berisha who said earlier the opinion of the Venice Commission provides a solid basis to give this country the best judicial reform.  Dr. Berisha said he believes all of Albania’s political forces should support the wise counsel of the President of the Venice Commission.

The responsibility of ensuring clean institutions to fight corruption lies with the Albanian people, civil society and journalists.  I have faith in the wisdom of the Albanian people.  They are smart and they are tough.  And they are tired of corruption in this country.