Albanian ex-minister guilty of abuse of office

epa06277120 Former Albanian Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri speaks during a press conference in Tirana, Albania, 17 October 2017 (Issued on 19 October 2017). Saimir Tahiri was mentioned in some interceptions made by Guardia di Finanza Italian Police, about guns and drugs traffic made by a crew which claimed to have his support. EPA-EFE/MALTON DIBRA

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An Albanian court found former interior minister Saimir Tahiri guilty on Thursday of abuse of office but innocent of trafficking drugs and sentenced him to three years’ probation.

Prosecutors wanted Tahiri, once one of the closest associates of Prime Minister Edi Rama, jailed for 12 years on charges of corruption, drug trafficking and being part of a criminal group, in a case that has rocked the leftist administration.

Prosecutors moved against him after phone-call transcripts of drug traffickers arrested in Italy allegedly suggested that Tahiri, a distant cousin of theirs, had abetted their crime ring.

Ruling Socialist lawmakers rejected calls to lift Tahiri’s immunity from prosecution last year, but he waived it himself in May after EU states asked Tirana to seriously fight corruption if it wanted to join.

Via Albania Daily News

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