Albanian ex-minister guilty of abuse of office
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.