As many of you are aware, on 6 June 2018 the Administrative Court of Appeals in Tirana upheld the request of TOKA & 27 locals to stop the works of Dragobia Energy Hydropower projects. This request was included in our suit lodged against KKT (the National Territorial Council) for issuing a new construction permit in November 2017, in direct contravention of the new law on protected areas which states that hydropower is not permitted in a National Park. Under Albanian law, the court should grant a stop work order in cases where “irreversible damage may be caused by construction, during the time required for the judicial process.” Today, 26 July 2018, we received the formal notice of Tropoja’s Bailiff’s request to the police to join him on 2 August, at noon, at the offices of Dragobia Energy on site in Valbona Valley National Park – IN ORDER TO EXECUTE THE COURT DECISION FORCIBLY, since the company has failed to comply with the court decision. Their failure to voluntarily stop the works is in spite of the fact that they were formally notified of the decision by the Tropoja Bailiff on 5 July, and given 10 working days to voluntarily cease. Since they actually filed an appeal against the decision on 6 June 2018, they clearly were aware of the decision but chose to continue working for almost 2 months.
In addition to this, the disputed construction permit actually expired on 22 May 2018, meaning that the company has additionally been working illegally without a permit for more than 2 months. TOKA filed criminal charges against this additional illegality on the 19th of July.
We invite you to wonder, with us, why the national inspectorates and other bodies tasked with protecting the National Park have failed to fulfill their responsibilities in the face of these flagrantly illegal acts.