By Fadil Paçrami
The fifth part
Memorie.al / What is prison? It is the place where those who have been sentenced to deprivation of liberty are kept, we would say by reading any dictionary. But that is little. Prison and freedom – two opposites. Previously: what is freedom? In short: to be free means to do what you want, to think and act as you wish in the exercise and fulfillment of your freedoms and rights, as a person and as a citizen, but always without harming and violating others. . Again: to think and act. We are talking about democratic freedoms, from those of speech, press, assembly and organization in various parties and associations, ensuring the conditions where ideas, requests and human wills can find expression and concretization, from those of the biological-related plan with the being itself, to those of the social plan, related to the ways of living.
Continues from last issue
YES, I ACCUSE!
(A request that remained unanswered)
After I had turned to the Supreme Court twice – on 5.2.1986 and 9.2.1988, to exercise from its side the “request for protection of legality” and I had not received any response, I finally turned to the Presidium of the People’s Assembly. The word is always that; the sentence of 25 years of deprivation of liberty had no legal basis, because at that time “sabotage” did not include (by law) the field of ideology, as well as “agitation and propaganda”, did not include literary and artistic creativity, published or played on the stages of state theaters. The text is published in full, as an accusation and evidence for the violations and abuses that were committed against the laws.
I address you as the highest body of the state. Right, why am I taking this step now, after all these years? The reasons in a nutshell are these:
– Until December 1981, despite the complete conviction that I had been unjustly convicted, I did not raise this issue in the state way like now (what I did in the party way, that is different), because I did not have the conviction that anything would come out from her for good, while the “gang” of Mehmet Shehu and Kadri Hazbi still held leading positions in the state and in the party and her criminal act was not discovered.
– After December 1981, with the coming to light of her deeds, in various fields of state and party activity and in those of the bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the investigation, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Court, for serious violations, of legality, which were also published in the press, I went with the opinion, that is, I expected, that this (I mean the legal side of the case – related to the criminal sentence), would be done by the Supreme Court itself, as it should , without the need for any prompting on my part, as directly interested.
– Since years passed and nothing was being done (I always think about the legal side), I thought to follow a regular path: to turn first to the Supreme Court, so that it could exercise the legal right (according to Article 79 of the Code of the Criminal Procedure in force), of the “request for protection of legality”. And so I did. I waited more than two years (quite a long and abundant time, I believe), but since I was convinced that he has no intention of doing anything, I called it appropriate to finally turn to you, as the Presidium of the People’s Assembly.
- Appeal to the Supreme Court
Twice I addressed the president of the Supreme Court.
– The first time, on 1.2.1986, with the complaint for violation of legality by the court of fact, which on 30.3.1977, sentenced me to 25 years of deprivation of liberty, where I argued with evidence, other data and legal norm (as much as the latter can do, one who is not of the laws, without the help of a legal advisor and in prison conditions, where the relevant literature is also missing), why did I call them such, that is why I asked them to he – as the president of the Supreme Court, on the basis of the law, exercised the right of “request for the protection of legality”!
– The second time, on 9.2.1988, after I didn’t see any action being taken, and I didn’t even receive an answer or notification about what was done with my request. (However, the decree-law of the Presidium of the People’s Assembly, dated 27.12.1983, in Article 8, clearly defines that: “The end of the request, complaint, remarks or proposal, is notified to the interested party, within one month from the date of submission. In special cases, this term is extended up to two months”).
Reminding him that I had not received an answer or notification, what was done with the complaint filed two years ago, as well as the obligation he had, regarding the matter in accordance with the law? Why this attitude? No action was taken, nor was an answer given to me. Why? In the Constitution of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania it was stated: “Citizens have the right to make requests, complaints, remarks and proposals to the competent bodies, for personal, social and state issues”. (Article 59).
So, I am also a citizen (I don’t know if my citizenship was revoked, because I am in prison), who made a complaint about a “criminal case”, personal, but which is also “social and state”. There are two things here: either they don’t ask about the laws and do them as they want, when it is known that they should be the enforcers of their first defenders, or they don’t have, they don’t know, how to act and respond, since the violation of legality, in the given case, is so blatant that it no longer exists!? This is why I am coming to complain to the Presidium of the People’s Assembly: first, as to the highest state body, notifying it of this violation of the law, by the Supreme Court; the second, also as to the higher body from which it depends, to which it is obliged to give an account.
- Subjective and arbitrary interpretation of the law
I was convicted under Article 72 (of the Criminal Code that was in force at the time), which states:
“Sabotage, i.e., activity or non-activity aimed at undermining industry, agricultural economy, transport, trade, cooperatives, the monetary and credit system, or other branches of the popular economy and state activity, in order to weaken popular power, shall be punished: with deprivation of liberty, not less than ten years, or with death and, whenever, with the confiscation of property”.
As well as with Article 73, second paragraph (of that Code), which also states, expressly: “Agitation and propaganda, which contains calls to undermine or weaken popular power, as well as the preparation or storage, for the dissemination of writings with such content, is punished: – with deprivation of liberty from three to ten years, with or without confiscation of property. As well as with Article 73, the second paragraph (of that Code), which also expressly states: ” Agitation and propaganda, which contains calls to undermine or weaken popular power, as well as the preparation or storage for dissemination of writings with such content, is punished: – With deprivation of liberty, from three to ten years, with or without confiscation of property. When these crimes were committed during wartime, or caused particularly serious consequences, they are punished: – with deprivation of liberty for no less than ten years, or with death and, in any case, with confiscation of property”.
I think that neither Article 72, (for sabotage), nor Article 73, (for agitation and propaganda, against popular power), have a place in my case. So I should not have been sentenced, if that type of interpretation, completely subjective, arbitrary and not legal, was not made by the court in question, i.e. its decision, with 25 years of deprivation of liberty, for the first and 20 years deprivation of liberty, for the second (which was rounded up to 25 years, according to the law), I called it and I call it, unfounded and illegal, a serious violation of the laws in force and of Articles 72 and 73 of the Criminal Code of that time. And here’s why: – Article 72, (of the Criminal Code that was in force at that time), clearly defines that the motive that should throw the subject into crime is exclusive: undermining the popular economy in other fields and state activity, while the purpose that establishes the act, as a political crime, comes out clearly with the exclusive: to weaken popular power.
(I add that I have not worked in the economic sectors and in state bodies, so that it can be a question of sabotage, according to the legal provision, for only one and a half years, in the years 1946-’47, as Deputy Minister of Education and Culture and more less than a year, in 1965-’66, as Minister of Culture and Arts, these periods were not mentioned, neither during the investigation, nor in the judicial process, and nothing was mentioned – because there was no, without looking for it, I don’t think it was looked for – even a single fact, or material evidence, documentary or written, that could blame me, however slightly or indirectly, for such kind of activity. As is known, all the time, I only dealt with party and social work. That’s all for clarification).
For the first time, I was told about sabotage, only when the charge was changed (in December 1976) from Article 64 (treason against the motherland – Criminal Code of that time), to Article 72, (for sabotage – yes the Criminal Code of that time) and 73, (for agitation and propaganda against popular power – yes the Criminal Code of that time). Since it didn’t work out with the first one – there wasn’t, it didn’t work out, they charged me without any basis, two more articles. Since then, I opposed this ugly extralegal toy, as well as in court, when the prosecutor and the court tried in vain to extend the sabotage from the economic and state activity to the ideological one of the party, however much this notion – “sabotage” of the Party’s line”, as they expressed, there was no such expression found in the relevant legal provision – Article 72, and there was no opposition to it. It did not therefore include, in the Object of the crime (I call it “crime” in accordance with the law, because in the given case, it is not a question of any crime), the activity of the party and the ideology, neither directly nor, expressly, to be understood, even indirectly.
(As something is known about them, it has been added and found expression in the new Criminal Code, which was approved by the People’s Assembly of the People’s Republic of Albania on 15.5.1977 and entered into force on 1.10.1977, where in Article 53, which speaks for sabotage, it is expressly stated that: – Action or inaction, to weaken or undermine, the state activity and the Labor Party of Albania, the socialist economy, the state and social organization and direction, is punished: “with the deprivation of liberty not less than ten years, or with death”. But this is a different wording, where it is clearly seen that the previous article has undergone essential changes, compared to the corresponding legal provision, which is in the Criminal Code of that time, when I was convicted).
Therefore, it must be admitted that any kind of interpretation, even less by the Plenum of the Supreme Court, to include in the exclusive scope of the object as sabotage the activity of the party and the ideology, before the date 1.10.1977, when the Criminal Code was in force previous, is arbitrary. What changes were made later, after my conviction, can still be made to the laws, I don’t care much and I don’t even judge about them. But as I explained above, it turns out that I was punished on the basis of a law that did not exist and for this reason I insist, that is why I call it, the punishment, unjust and not legal. – Even for Article 73 (of the Criminal Code, which was in force at that time), the second paragraph, with which I was sentenced, the court that tried my case, made an unfair, subjective, arbitrary and completely unacceptable legal definition, for the given case. I’m trying to explain why: The basis of the charge for this article was the report of the “experts” (who, contrary to the Code of Criminal Procedure – Article 31 with the new one, since I don’t know with the old one, because I couldn’t find it, were not brought to face me either during the investigation or in the trial), about the plays I wrote and was read as the main evidence, during the trial, by the presiding judge Eleni Selenica herself. The question is asked: how can it be, since literary creativity was called a crime?!
Literary and artistic creativity, therefore, cannot and should not be confused with Article 73 (for agitation and propaganda against popular power – according to the previous Code), as was done in my case. The above-mentioned legal provision of this article clearly defines both the motive and the purpose that should encourage and throw the subject, in the crime of “agitation and propaganda against the popular power”, while dramas are literary creativity. Moreover, in the given case, they were published in literary magazines of the time and by the “Naim Frashëri” Publishing House, which is state-owned, they were staged by state theaters, they were awarded Republic Awards, which until in May 1971, it was seen by 480,000 viewers, in professional theaters (according to a data from the Ministry of Education and Culture at the time), in addition to amateurs and readers. Here the following questions also arise: how did all these viewers, readers and these state institutions not see such things in them, but one fine day, these “experts”, as they called them from the court, revealed to us, and how could to call them; “calls to undermine or weaken popular power,” or writings; “with such content”, as referred to in the legal provision – Article 73?!
(It is worth remembering here also this statement of Marx about the Cologne Trial, against the communists: “The Manifesto of the Communist Party, which was found among the accused, which was published before the February revolution and was on sale for several years, cannot to be, neither in form nor in purpose, the program of a conspiracy? – Karl Marx, “Revelations about the Cologne process, against the communists. When about the “Manifesto…”! Thus, all the less, accusations can be made, on the other hand, it is known that in the years 1958-1973, when I wrote them, those plays were published and staged, there was no “war time” in the concrete sense of this word. Then, how could the court that sentenced me make such a legal definition?! How can such an arbitrary and absurd decision, which contradicts the law, be kept in force today?! The conclusion is clear: dramas are literary and artistic creativity and not “agitation and propaganda against popular power”, that Article 73 of the previous Criminal Code does not even apply to the given case, that any kind of interpretation made by the court is not legal, that the decision taken on the punishment, even with the second paragraph, is unfounded and not fair, so it must be annulled.
(I want to add here, that during the course of the trial, and in particular, in the few words that I was allowed to say at the end, as a defense, I strongly attacked precisely these two articles, with which it was requested that I was being punished and the interpretation that was being given to them, which caused the anger of the president of the court, who in an instant cut me off with arrogance, saying: “Why are you going to teach us how to interpret the laws”?! – She is a member of the Presidium of the People’s Assembly – she should be reminded and she should say it. – The punishment, therefore, is not based on the law, so even its examination by you takes on a special character of principle, which is dictated by The Constitution, which states: “No one can be criminally punished… for an act that is not provided for in the law as a crime”. (Article 56)
If the court of fact at that time (in March 1977) sentenced me without regard, even violating and violating the law and the Constitution itself with the interpretation of Articles 72 and 73, as well as the legal definition of the crime, for which I was accused, it was guided acted arbitrarily and aprioristically (that I had to be punished, that’s it), if the Supreme Court then, (from 1988 when I complained, it took notice of everything), did not take any action, also guided in arbitrary and aprioristic way (that my case should not be seen again and corrected), I think I am convinced that this will not happen for any reason, with the Presidium of the People’s Assembly.
I may not know well all the laws and principles on which the law is based in our country (even though for nearly 30 years I have been a member, for a while even the Speaker of the People’s Assembly and I am not allowed, many of which I was forced, within the possibilities, to learn them now), but I say that; in any case and for anyone, the formal character of the law must be preserved and respected, otherwise the claim, for the equality of all citizens, would fail and the very concept of justice would not exist.
- Violations of the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure
Others without legality that make it “unfounded” (Article 1791 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which is in force today – I am forced, as now and below, to refer to it, because I do not have the old one in my hands), illegal and unfair decision, even by the Supreme Court panel, on 30.3.1977, so I also request its cancellation.
– I was arrested on 21.10.1975, without being presented with any document, “notice”, according to the law, from the prosecutor, “in which the criminal offense charged against the defendant and the reasons for taking this measure had to be mentioned”! (Article 50 of the Criminal Procedure Code). This is proven, among others, by the fact that in the documentation of the prison of Burrell, where I am serving my sentence, it appears that I was arrested not on 21.10.1975, but on 22.10.1975, a date which, apparently, actually bears the order of the General Prosecutor, issued for my arrest, i.e. the next day, after I had been arrested, also with the other fact that he was shown to me, only on 23. 10.1975, when the investigation began.
– I was kept in the investigator’s cell for almost 18 months, i.e. 6 times more than what is provided by law (Article 61), during which both psychological and physical violence was used: pressure, threats, insults, blows, etc., contrary to the law, which states: “In conducting investigations, the use of physical or psychological violence, as well as other such norms, is prohibited”! (Article 7 of the Criminal Code). During the 15 months, I have not been taken out into the air, except for one day, for 10 minutes, even in that case, with the purpose of pressure, seeking to destroy my nervous system, to be no longer myself and to accept what they wanted.
– During the investigative process, everything was manipulated and fabricated, as the investigation and the “gang” behind it needed: investigative processes, the testimonies of witnesses and various institutions, the report of experts, etc. On the other hand, neither during the investigation, nor during the judicial process, no material evidence or document could be brought (because there was, it was not brought), Articles 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the Code of Criminal Procedure). for the accusations made against me, or from the writings (plays, books and published articles), or the discussions from the protocols at party congresses, plenums of the Central Committee, as well as from meetings with writers and artists, etc., up to the instructions of the orders issued, when I was Minister of Culture and Arts, so that it could be indicted, or mentioned in court, as proof of guilt.
– Regarding the “experts”, I was neither asked, did not have any objections and did not ask for the “exclusion” of any of them (Article 82), nor did I confront them (Article 64), they did not even appear in court, so that were heard by the jury, (Article 136), moreover, because I openly declared in court that: “everything that is said in their report, is neither the content nor the ideas of my plays”. So, the objections were deep and the statements of the parties, completely different. Memorie.al
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