Strasbourg Court Rejects Seizure by SPAK of Portal's Equipment with SP's Database on Tirana Voters

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled to order Albania not to implement the controversial decision of Judge Iliriana Olldashi for the seizure of computers and other electronic equipment of journalists at Lapsi.al, in a measure of suspension that is rarely used and in extreme cases by this court, said lawyer Dorian Matlija on Thursday.
The court notified Matlijan via e-mail of the decision after he submitted the request on behalf of Lapsi.al journalists, who have appealed Olldashi's decision, said Balkan web.
SPAK surprised experts on freedom of expression when it accepted on Sunday
a request of the prosecution to seize journalists' equipment, as part of an investigation into a mass database allegedly belonging to the Socialist Party, which holds personal data of all Tirana voters.
Portal Lapsi.al first published the news about the existence of the database, which then flowed on the internet until it became a 'secret' that everyone knows.
However, despite the fact that the database circulates on the Internet, SPAK asked to get it and be informed on the source from where it had fallen into the hands of journalists of Lapsi.al. Portal's executives Andi Bushati and Armand Shkullaku refused  the order to protect their source of information.

European law entitles journalists not to disclose the source of information to prosecutors or the court and requires authorities to exhaust all available investigative tools before claiming access to journalists' data. /argumentum.al