Armed clash with one dead in Bllok area highlights capital’s underground criminal activity

Armed clash with one dead in Bllok area highlights capital’s underground criminal activity

TIRANA, Oct. 8 – One person was killed and two more were injured on Thursday night in Tirana, at the main bars and restaurants crowded area known as Blloku, for reasons still unclear. Erivs Martinaj – a well-known figure for

Read Full Article
No Albania-Greece deal without a functioning Constitutional Court, President says

No Albania-Greece deal without a functioning Constitutional Court, President says

TIRANA, Oct. 4 – There should be no parliament ratified deal for the bilateral issues between Albania and Greece until the Constitutional Court in Albania starts to function at full capacity once again. This statement was made by Albanian President

Read Full Article
AIIS seminar on Czechoslovakia discusses the division of states

AIIS seminar on Czechoslovakia discusses the division of states

TIRANA, Oct. 3 – On Wednesday, the Albanian Institute for International Studies commemorated through a seminar the 25-year anniversary of the 1993 ‘velvet divorce’ – the division into two states of Czechoslovakia. In cooperation with the embassies of the Czech

Read Full Article
Mengel village school to be reconstructed after protesters clash with police

Mengel village school to be reconstructed after protesters clash with police

TIRANA, Oct. 3 – Students and parents’ protest in Elbasan’s Mengel village on Tuesday demanding a new school after an earthquake demolished it last year was accompanied by physical clashes with the police, according to local media reporting from the

Read Full Article
Internationally sought Albanian arrested in Vlora

Internationally sought Albanian arrested in Vlora

TIRANA, Oct. 3 – A 32-year-old Albanian man who was being internationally sought by Italian authorities for attempted murder was arrested in Vlora on Tuesday. Following the plan of measures for controlling the territory in order to crack down on

Read Full Article
Confiscation of Habilajs’ assets begins in Vlora

Confiscation of Habilajs’ assets begins in Vlora

TIRANA, Oct. 3 – Albanian authorities began seizing on Wednesday the properties and assets of the so-called Habilaj group. Close to the Vlora hospital, a gas station seemingly in the ownership of Artan Habilaj – one of the three brothers

Read Full Article
Albania reportedly turns down Telekom Serbia offer on security concerns

Albania reportedly turns down Telekom Serbia offer on security concerns

TIRANA, Oct. 3 – The possible takeover of Albania’s second largest mobile operator by Serbia’s state-run Telekom Serbia will apparently not receive the okay of the Albanian government due to concerns over national security in a sensitive sector such as

Read Full Article
Elbasan protesters clash with police, minors among them

Elbasan protesters clash with police, minors among them

TIRANA, Oct. 3 – Students and parents’ protest in Elbasan’s Mengel village on Tuesday demanding a new school after an earthquake demolished it last year was accompanied by physical clashes with the police, according to local media reporting from the

Read Full Article
Prosecution proposes 17-year-imprisonment for Emiljano Shullazi

Prosecution proposes 17-year-imprisonment for Emiljano Shullazi

TIRANA, Oct. 2 – The Serious Crimes Prosecution gave its pretense for the accused Emiljano Shullazi criminal group on Tuesday, proposing 17 years of imprisonment for Emiljano, 15 years for Gilmandon Dani, 11 years for Endrit Qyqan and Endrit Zela

Read Full Article
Police arrests Socialist MP’s son, while Maloku denies initial accusations against him

Police arrests Socialist MP’s son, while Maloku denies initial accusations against him

TIRANA, Oct. 1 – The Kruja court ordered on Sunday the arrest of the accused son of a Socialist Party MP Rexhep Raja after the forensic expertise showed he’d repeated violated his former girlfriend Xhisiela Maloku. The order was enforced

Read Full Article
WP_Query Object
(
    [query_vars] => Array
        (
            [cat] => 28
            [paged] => 2
            [error] => 
            [m] => 
            [p] => 0
            [post_parent] => 
            [subpost] => 
            [subpost_id] => 
            [attachment] => 
            [attachment_id] => 0
            [name] => 
            [static] => 
            [pagename] => 
            [page_id] => 0
            [second] => 
            [minute] => 
            [hour] => 
            [day] => 0
            [monthnum] => 0
            [year] => 0
            [w] => 0
            [category_name] => news
            [tag] => 
            [tag_id] => 
            [author] => 
            [author_name] => 
            [feed] => 
            [tb] => 
            [comments_popup] => 
            [meta_key] => 
            [meta_value] => 
            [preview] => 
            [s] => 
            [sentence] => 
            [fields] => 
            [menu_order] => 
            [category__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [category__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [category__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [post__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [post__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag_slug__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag_slug__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [post_parent__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [post_parent__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [author__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [author__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [ignore_sticky_posts] => 
            [suppress_filters] => 
            [cache_results] => 1
            [update_post_term_cache] => 1
            [update_post_meta_cache] => 1
            [post_type] => 
            [posts_per_page] => 10
            [nopaging] => 
            [comments_per_page] => 50
            [no_found_rows] => 
            [order] => DESC
        )

    [tax_query] => WP_Tax_Query Object
        (
            [queries] => Array
                (
                    [0] => Array
                        (
                            [taxonomy] => category
                            [terms] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => 28
                                )

                            [include_children] => 1
                            [field] => term_id
                            [operator] => IN
                        )

                )

            [relation] => AND
        )

    [meta_query] => WP_Meta_Query Object
        (
            [queries] => Array
                (
                )

            [relation] => 
        )

    [date_query] => 
    [post_count] => 10
    [current_post] => -1
    [in_the_loop] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [current_comment] => -1
    [found_posts] => 9971
    [max_num_pages] => 998
    [max_num_comment_pages] => 0
    [is_single] => 
    [is_preview] => 
    [is_page] => 
    [is_archive] => 1
    [is_date] => 
    [is_year] => 
    [is_month] => 
    [is_day] => 
    [is_time] => 
    [is_author] => 
    [is_category] => 1
    [is_tag] => 
    [is_tax] => 
    [is_search] => 
    [is_feed] => 
    [is_comment_feed] => 
    [is_trackback] => 
    [is_home] => 
    [is_404] => 
    [is_comments_popup] => 
    [is_paged] => 1
    [is_admin] => 
    [is_attachment] => 
    [is_singular] => 
    [is_robots] => 
    [is_posts_page] => 
    [is_post_type_archive] => 
    [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 9683a65fa4a1aafc6b9370035b44e4c1
    [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 
    [thumbnails_cached] => 1
    [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => 
    [query] => Array
        (
            [cat] => 28
            [paged] => 2
        )

    [request] => SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS  wp_posts.ID FROM wp_posts  INNER JOIN wp_term_relationships ON (wp_posts.ID = wp_term_relationships.object_id) WHERE 1=1  AND ( wp_term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id IN (28) ) AND wp_posts.post_type = 'post' AND (wp_posts.post_status = 'publish') GROUP BY wp_posts.ID ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC LIMIT 10, 10
    [posts] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 138761
                    [post_author] => 281
                    [post_date] => 2018-10-08 15:18:43
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-08 13:18:43
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Oct. 8 - One person was killed and two more were injured on Thursday night in Tirana, at the main bars and restaurants crowded area known as Blloku, for reasons still unclear.

Erivs Martinaj - a well-known figure for the Albanian police and justice system - was in the premises of the bar and was shot upon. 

Martinaj was injured along with Eljon Hato, the latter in critical condition, while Fabiol Gaxha, Martinaj’s bodyguard, took a bullet on the head, which instantly killed him.

Both Martinaj and Hato were arrested by the police in context of the case’s investigation, while Ervin Mata, 31 years old, Fabjol Alushi, 42 years old, and Merviol Bilo, 41 years old, are now wanted by the police. 

All three are suspected of being involved in the fight that led to Gaxha’s death. Bilo, a member of the Army’s Commando Force, is suspected to be the person who gunned down Gaxha.

Bilo simultaneously turned out to be the bodyguard of a famous Albanian singer - the assault against her being considered as a lead for what caused the armed clash between the groups. However, prosecutors have reason to believe the clash was at heart linked with unfinished business in the criminal activities between the groups.  

Martinaj was among the persons involved in a murder that occurred in a cafe on the outskirts of Tirana, near the road to Dajti, in November 2015.

Although the prosecution proposed a sentence of more than 20 years of imprisonment for Martinaj and his collaborators, the Tirana court dismissed the accusation of "premeditated murder in co-operation" by punishing the murder’s author and giving light sentences to Martinaj and two other persons with the justification that it was a murder that was born of an instant conflict.

Martinaj is currently running his own betting chain in Albania, among other private enterprises, while local media have reported that Hato was supposed to be in prison, from where,in 2014, he ordered the murder of a doctor in Shkodra. 

The details of the case are still unclear and subject to change as police is investigating the case for the underlying criminal activities of the bands. 

 
                    [post_title] => Armed clash with one dead in Bllok area highlights capital’s underground criminal activity
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => armed-clash-with-one-dead-in-bllok-area-highlights-capitals-underground-criminal-activity
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-10-08 15:18:43
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-08 13:18:43
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=138761
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [1] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 138705
                    [post_author] => 29
                    [post_date] => 2018-10-05 11:19:33
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-05 09:19:33
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Oct. 4 - There should be no parliament ratified deal for the bilateral issues between Albania and Greece until the Constitutional Court in Albania starts to function at full capacity once again. This statement was made by Albanian President Ilir Meta during an official visit to the United States, speaking to VoA in the local Albanian service. Meta clarified his position about the negotiations explaining that he has reached a consensus with the Prime Minister Rama despite having some initial difficulties with Foreign Affairs’ Minister Bushati.

Meta said that any other form of reaching the deal would not be a sustainable solution and would not serve the interests of both countries.  Actually the ruling SP doesn’t even need the opposition MP numbers in parliament to seal the deal.

The Constitutional Court in Albania is blocked since it now has only two members. Three judges finished their mandate while four others have been deemed unappropriated to go on in their position due to the vetting process results.

Even during the negotiations and the meetings, there have been several concerns about the transparency of the deal.

The opposition says it and the relevant parliamentary institutions have neither been consulted nor informed on the negotiations. Some politicians, like former Prime Minister Sali Berisha, have warned a new conflict between Albania and Greece could be the result if the deal is reached without transparency.

Albanian institutions, with the exception of the government, and the public at large are getting more information from Greek news media than Albanian officials involved in the talks.

President Meta initially halted the negotiations due to expressed lack of proper information about them, only to reauthorize them in early March of this year after several rounds of correspondence with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Diplomatic sources told Tirana Times that in fact the agreement was negotiated as early as last year and as late as the first two months of this year. However, according to the official record, these negotiations officially started only three months and half ago, when the government received the official permission to negotiate from the President of the Republic. Moreover, diplomatic sources confirmed that the Albanian side was given a new agreement with some partial and technical corrections from the Greek side, which were nonnegotiable, and the rest of what appears like negotiation is just for show.

Instead clarifying what Albania will get from the sea border dispute, the Albanian government has been much more open in declaring as “wins” issues included in the “package of negotiations,” such as the recognition of Albanian driving licenses and apostille stamps, as well as the removal of the Law on the State of War.

Although these are agreements that will benefit a number of Albanians living in Greece, foreign policy experts have said it is wrong to include them in the same package of negotiations as the maritime border agreement, as their benefits to citizens will only be peripheral.

The context pronounces even more the likelihood that any reached deal would need to pass through the proper constitutional check mechanism.

Albania and Greek diplomats have met twice to discuss pending unresolved issues between the two countries.

These most prominent among them is the final demarcation of the areas in the Ionian Sea. The former respective deal reached between the two countries during the Berisha administration was struck down as unconstitutional by the Court in 2009.  The negotiations however are supposed to examine a wider list of issues including the removal of the Law of Status of War with Albania that Greece still upholds in relation to the Greco-Italian war of the 40s.

 
                    [post_title] => No Albania-Greece deal without a functioning Constitutional Court, President says 
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => no-albania-greece-deal-without-a-functioning-constitutional-court-president-says
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-10-08 15:14:56
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-08 13:14:56
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=138705
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [2] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 138729
                    [post_author] => 29
                    [post_date] => 2018-10-05 11:14:16
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-05 09:14:16
                    [post_content] => aiis 2TIRANA, Oct. 3 - On Wednesday, the Albanian Institute for International Studies commemorated through a seminar the 25-year anniversary of the 1993 ‘velvet divorce’ - the division into two states of Czechoslovakia.

In cooperation with the embassies of the Czech and Slovak republics, Director of the Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences Slavomir Michalek and Vice Director of the Institute for Contemporary History of the Czech Academy of Sciences Pavel Mucke were invited to speak of the Slovak and Czech perspectives of the separation.

The Czechoslovak Republic was born on Oct. 28, 1918, in consequence of WWI, destroyed in March 1939, in consequence of the Third Reich occupation and diplomatic pressure and re-established on May 8, 1945, in consequence of WWII.

In 1960, the transition to Czechoslovak Socialist Republic was declared, while in Jan. 5 of 1968, the Prague Spring brought a ‘new round’ in dealing with Czecho-Slovak relations, creating a formally decentralized model of state with new constitutional bodies and deciding to split the country into two republics.

Mucke noted, during his presentation, that the federation “actually became a dead shell” due to the lack of democracy, with federal and republic bodies under the actual direction of communist party politics.

The Czechoslovak Velvet Revolution happened in 1989, as a consequence of police attacks on legalized student demonstrations on Nov. 17, in Prague.

Despite the differences of perception between the Slovaks and the Czechs - both historians in the panel mentioned that were Czechs were seen as sharing more Western values, as opposed to the Slovaks - they coordinated in a revolutionary movement that led to the peaceful fall of the communist regime, formed a “government of national understanding” and respected “non-formal principles of national nomination.”

The ‘velvet’ divorce, following the ‘velvet revolution’ lasted from 1989 to 1993.

During this time, the federation had limited functions in a democratic environment, with the main problem being the different perceptions of the state between Czechs and Slovaks - with the first tending to have a strong federation and the second opting for two sovereign republics “bridged” with a more decentralised federation.

For the Slovak side, the period until 1993 - when the first sovereign and democratic Slovak Republic peacefully separated from the Czech part - was just part of a series of “efforts to become a modern nation and equal partner to other nations which culminated in the late 20th century,” as Michalek mentioned during his presentation.

Among the positives of diminishing the nationalistic agenda in domestic policies and “self-managing” of both nations in “independent state entities” and the negatives of a weakened position on international ground and the necessity to renew the network of international relations, for Czechs, the new-born Czech Republic meant “a smaller Czechoslovakia” due to “paternalistic sentiments,” while the Slovaks identified with their new state relatively quickly during the 1990s.

Nonetheless, in conclusion of both speeches it was highlighted that the case of Czechoslovakia was a contribution to the long-term debates and historical knowledge on how to and not to deal with the issues of nationalism in supranational states - still a necessary knowledge in modern history.

The seminar was attended by a number of ambassadors, Albanian politicians and officials, scholars and international and Albanian students alike.
                    [post_title] => AIIS seminar on Czechoslovakia discusses the division of states 
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => aiis-seminar-on-czechoslovakia-discusses-the-division-of-states
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-10-05 11:14:16
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-05 09:14:16
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=138729
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [3] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 138726
                    [post_author] => 29
                    [post_date] => 2018-10-05 11:09:56
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-05 09:09:56
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Oct. 3 - Students and parents’ protest in Elbasan’s Mengel village on Tuesday demanding a new school after an earthquake demolished it last year was accompanied by physical clashes with the police, according to local media reporting from the ground.

The protest began on Monday around noon and continued throughout the day, with reports that children’s physical state worsened as the protest carried on, due to not eating, tiredness and alleged physical clashes with the police.

The protesters - both children and parents - sat in the middle of the street and blocked the entire Elbasan-Librazhd highway, creating a heavy traffic of about five kilometers of cars that could not pass through.

Protest images and videos broadcasted by media in Albania showed crying children, while a couple of them even had blood on their faces and slight injuries.

In context of the protests, local media reported on Thursday a government announcement that reconstruction for the school will begin as soon as possible.

Democratic Party MP Luciano Boci also attended the protest while the State Police, through an announcement, said it had informed Boci that the protest was illegal, as well as asked him to move.

“State Police called on representatives of the illegal protest and the lawmaker of the Democratic Party political subject Luciano Boci to free the way, but without results for a relatively long time. Some of the adult protesters, misused by political subjects to stand behind the illegal rally, provoked and acted violently towards the police, which proceeded the necessary materials against them to the prosecution,” the police announcement read.

The announcement also informed one 25-year-old citizen with the initials K.Gj. was accompanied to police headquarters for violently opposing police forces.

“The Elbasan police, taking advantage of the case, responsibly declares that the child, whose images have been broadcast by a number of media claiming he was violated by police forces, has not been harmed in any moment by the police. The police calls on the area’s citizens not to use their children for rushed protests in order to avoid the increased danger or any incidents that may occur,” the announcement concludes.

According to the specialists, the school needs to be rebuilt its structures as it risks collapsing.

In such a situation students have been provided free transportation to city schools, but about 200 students have boycotted the government’s plan.

 
                    [post_title] => Mengel village school to be reconstructed after protesters clash with police  
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => mengel-village-school-to-be-reconstructed-after-protesters-clash-with-police
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-10-05 11:09:56
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-05 09:09:56
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=138726
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [4] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 138723
                    [post_author] => 29
                    [post_date] => 2018-10-05 11:05:18
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-05 09:05:18
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Oct. 3 - A 32-year-old Albanian man who was being internationally sought by Italian authorities for attempted murder was arrested in Vlora on Tuesday.

Following the plan of measures for controlling the territory in order to crack down on criminal activity and groups, and based on information received in an operative way, Albano Cano, born and residing in Vlora, was arrested.

It is reported that on Sept.10, 2018, the 32-year-old was declared internationally sought by Interpol Roma after the authorities in Rimini issued an international arrest warrant for the criminal offense of attempted murder provided by Articles 56, 61, 575 of the Italian Penal Code.

Meanwhile, the materials will be sent to the prosecution of the Vlora First Degree Court for further actions.

 
                    [post_title] => Internationally sought Albanian arrested in Vlora 
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => internationally-sought-albanian-arrested-in-vlora
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-10-05 11:05:18
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-05 09:05:18
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=138723
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [5] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 138720
                    [post_author] => 29
                    [post_date] => 2018-10-05 11:02:35
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-05 09:02:35
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Oct. 3 - Albanian authorities began seizing on Wednesday the properties and assets of the so-called Habilaj group.

Close to the Vlora hospital, a gas station seemingly in the ownership of Artan Habilaj - one of the three brothers accused of international drug trafficking - was surrounded by police tape.

Following the request of the Serious Crimes Prosecution, the First Instance Court of Serious Crimes accepted a few days ago to seize 29 different properties of the Habilaj brothers. The serious crimes,in its request to the court, had argued the seizure of the properties of the three Habilaj  brothers on the legal basis of the December 2009 law "on the fight against organized crime, trafficking and corruption through preventive measures against property.”

On the long list of seized property, there are assets belonging to Moisi Habilaj, who is considered as the leader of the group that dealt with the dispatch of large quantities of marijuana to Italy and which, last October, the authorities of Katania hit as part of an Italian-Albanian criminal organization.

Among the assets that are being seized in Vlora are those related to Artan and Florian Habilaj, but also of close friends and family. This includes at least ten apartments with a total value of several hundred thousand euros. Among the sequestered properties are also three buildings, one garage, one plot, four trading units, four other real estates and five cars.

Doubts about ties with the Habilaj group, with whom he is family-related, placed accusations on  former Minister of Interior Saimir Tahiri last year. Investigations against him started after Italian authorities hit the organization in Katania and found that the name of the former minister was mentioned several times in conversations among traffickers.

The prosecution requested the Tahiri’s arrest, but the socialist majority rejected the request, claiming the prosecution had not submitted any evidence to make its case. In May of this year, Tahiri resigned from ihis MP mandate. Shortly thereafter, the prosecution again demanded his arrest, but the court ruled for house arrest, a move that was amended a few weeks later by the Court of Appeals.

Tahiri has denied allegations of his involvement in narcotics trafficking, or that he has links with the Habilaj group. Investigations against him are still ongoing.
                    [post_title] => Confiscation of Habilajs’ assets begins in Vlora
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => confiscation-of-habilajs-assets-begins-in-vlora
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-10-05 11:02:35
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-05 09:02:35
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=138720
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [6] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 138696
                    [post_author] => 29
                    [post_date] => 2018-10-03 17:50:24
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-03 15:50:24
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Oct. 3 - The possible takeover of Albania's second largest mobile operator by Serbia’s state-run Telekom Serbia will apparently not receive the okay of the Albanian government due to concerns over national security in a sensitive sector such as telecommunications and amid fears of the public not welcoming the operator’s arrival over non-positive feelings and perceptions related to tense historical political relations between the two countries.

Telekom Serbia is reported to have submitted the highest bid for the purchase of German-Greek owned Telekom Albania, with an offer of €60 million, beating Turkish, Greek, Czech and Bulgarian investors in tender held on Sept. 17, according to Albanian and Serbian media.

Telekom Albania, where German giant Deutsche Telekom owns a 40 percent stake through Greece-based OTE Group, is the second largest operator with a market share of 36 percent and one of the three remaining operators after Plus Communication, the sole Albanian-owned operator, ceased its operations at the end of 2017 after selling its shares to Telekom Albania and Vodafone Albania.

The sale of Telekom Albania comes after a hike in losses in 2017 and Albania's mobile phone market having embarked on an ongoing downward trend since almost a decade, triggered by tougher competition and smartphone apps replacing traditional phone calls and text messages.

Turkish-owned Albtelecom, which runs the country’s third largest mobile operator, is also reported to have submitted a bid along with Czech PPF Group and Bulgaria’s Vivacom.

Sources quoted by local media say the Albanian government has not welcomed the Serbian state-run company's offer following a meeting of Telekom Serbia officials with Albanian government representatives due to security concerns.

"The arrival of Telekom Serbia in Albania is not welcome. Even though the decision is among companies, the involvement of Telekom Serbia in the Albanian mobile telephony market could spark reactions that would have a negative impact even for the company itself. We are willing to welcome Serbian investors in the country but prefer an investor with another profile for this sector," unnamed government sources are quoted as saying by local Albanian Ora News TV.

Meanwhile, Belgrade-based Danas newspaper says Telekom Serbia is politically motivated to acquire Telekom Albania and there are indications of "non-business motives" behind the unreasonably high bid.

According to a Danas source cited by Serbian Monitor English-language portal, there are indications that the offer of the Serbian company is based on “non-business motives since it gave an unreasonably high bid”.

"The [Danas] source also claims that Telekom Serbia has strong political support and that the Serbian authorities, through their German counterparts, appealed to Deutsche Telekom to soften the Albanian government and regulatory bodies to accept the Serbian offer,” says the portal.

The entry to Albania of Telekom Srbija, which also operates in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, would mark the first major Serbian investment in Albania, where Serbian investment is quite modest, amid tense political relations over Kosovo, the ethnic-Albanian country which declared its independence from Serbia a decade ago.

The concerns related to security grounds are a result of both Albanians and Serbians perceiving themselves among top threats and enemies despite political relations having significantly improved in the past few years and the civil society in both countries contributing to the normalization of relations between two countries that are considered key to the region’s stability and peace.

Relations between the two countries temporarily entered a Cold War era status quo in October 2014 following a drone incident with Albanian nationalistic and patriotic symbols flying over the Partizan stadium in Belgrade in the midst of a Serbia-Albania Euro 2016 qualifier.

Some Albanian security experts have also opposed the entry of mobile operators from non-EU and non-NATO member countries in sensitive sectors such as telecommunications.

A sale deal on Telekom Albania would also have to receive the okay of Albanian state-run regulators such as the electronic communications and competition watchdogs.

 
                    [post_title] => Albania reportedly turns down Telekom Serbia offer on security concerns 
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => albania-reportedly-turns-down-telekom-serbia-offer-on-security-concerns
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-10-04 13:17:09
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-04 11:17:09
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=138696
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [7] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 138689
                    [post_author] => 281
                    [post_date] => 2018-10-03 15:45:58
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-03 13:45:58
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Oct. 3 - Students and parents’ protest in Elbasan’s Mengel village on Tuesday demanding a new school after an earthquake demolished it last year was accompanied by physical clashes with the police, according to local media reporting from the ground.

The protest began on Monday around noon and continued throughout the day, with reports that children’s physical state worsened as the protest carried on, due to not eating, tiredness and alleged physical clashes with the police. 

The protesters - both children and parents - sat in the middle of the street and blocked the Elbasan-Librazhd road, creating a heavy traffic of about five kilometers of cars that could not pass.

Protest images and videos broadcasted by media in Albania showed crying children, while a couple of them even had blood on their faces and slight injuries.

Democratic Party MP Luciano Boci also attended the protest while the State Police, through an announcement, said it had informed Boci that the protest was illegal, as well as asked him to move. 

“State Police called on representatives of the illegal protest and the lawmaker of the Democratic Party political subject Luciano Boci to free the way, but without results for a relatively long time. Some of the adult protesters, misused by political subjects to stand behind the illegal rally, provoked and acted violently towards the police, which proceeded the necessary materials against them to the prosecution,” the police announcement read. 

The announcement also informed one 25-year-old citizen with the initials K.Gj. was accompanied to police headquarters for violently opposing police forces.

“The Elbasan police, taking advantage of the case, responsibly declares that the child, whose images have been broadcasted by a number of media claiming he was violated by police forces, has not been harmed in any moment by the police. The police calls on the area’s citizens not to use their children for rushed protests in order to avoid the increased danger or any incidents that may occur,” the announcement concludes.

According to the specialists, the school needs to be rebuilt its structures as it risks collapsing.

In such a situation students have been provided free transportation to city schools, but about 200 students have boycotted the government’s plan. 

 
                    [post_title] => Elbasan protesters clash with police, minors among them 
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => elbasan-protesters-clash-with-police-minors-among-them
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-10-03 15:49:15
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-03 13:49:15
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=138689
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [8] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 138680
                    [post_author] => 281
                    [post_date] => 2018-10-02 14:08:56
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-02 12:08:56
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Oct. 2 - The Serious Crimes Prosecution gave its pretense for the accused Emiljano Shullazi criminal group on Tuesday, proposing 17 years of imprisonment for Emiljano, 15 years for Gilmandon Dani, 11 years for Endrit Qyqan and Endrit Zela and ten years for Blerim Shullazi. 

Although the accused were not present at the court under the claim they have fallen ill, strict court security measures were not absent, much like in the first hearing that was postponed last Wednesday, and police officers surrounded the premises from the early morning hours.

The Shullazi process has attracted a lot of attention after the replacement of the cases’ prosecutor, who is on a long-term sick leave, caused debate in the Serious Crimes Prosecution last week.

A group of ten prosecutors refused to participate in the draw that would decide who will replace their colleague Ened Nakuci, which was followed by the initiation of a disciplinary investigation against them ordered by Chief Prosecutor Arta Marku, while three prosecutors were transferred outside Tirana.

Emiljano Shullazi, a notorious underworld figure in Albania, is accused of a string of offenses, among which blackmailing businesses to pay large sums of money or handing over their properties for free during the last three years under the protection of the left-wing government and Prime Minister Edi Rama, according to the country’s opposition.

Shullazi has been mentioned by the US Embassy to Albania as one of the “big fish” that need to be caught by the reformed justice system. One day before the hearing that would seek his imprisonment, the embassy told the Voice of America the Albanian people deserve a justice system where police and prosecutors stay united against criminals and added it “supports the brave prosecutors who seek justice, even when there are risks involved.”

 
                    [post_title] => Prosecution proposes 17-year-imprisonment for Emiljano Shullazi 
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => prosecution-proposes-17-year-imprisonment-for-emiljano-shullazi
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-10-02 14:08:56
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-02 12:08:56
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=138680
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [9] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 138671
                    [post_author] => 281
                    [post_date] => 2018-10-02 10:11:39
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-02 08:11:39
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Oct. 1 - The Kruja court ordered on Sunday the arrest of the accused son of a Socialist Party MP Rexhep Raja after the forensic expertise showed he’d repeated violated his former girlfriend Xhisiela Maloku.

The order was enforced by the police after former Kruje police officer Emiljano Nuhu denounced the case and alleged proceedings were hampered to protect Rexhep, who is now being held in police premises under official charges of persecution and violence toward his former girlfriend.

The violence exercised towards Maloku, as well as the initial charges pressed by her, happened in June, but did not gain public attention until the opposition’s Democratic Party published Nuhu’s interview, who also alleged SP MPs - Rahmen Rraja and Taulant Balla - held him at gunpoint to not complete his duty towards and investigate the charges and Rexhep. 

Rexhep is expected to face justice and receive the security measure against him on Wednesday, while later he will respond to the violence accusations which have been kept under the radar for over two months.

Maloku said the police did not register her denunciations and that when it finally did, she was again forced to withdraw them under the pressure of the aggressors near police facilities.

On Monday, civil society groups and activists protested in front of the parliament, condemning the violence against Maloku. 

The activists demanded from the parliament, the government and the police to apply the same laws to everyone regardless of the ties with power law violators may have.

With Rexhep’s arrest, Maloku was placed under police protection, out of fear of possible threats coming her way. 

However, in an interview on Monday night, Maloku denied being violated by Rexhep, saying she had pressed charges out of jealousy for his new relationship and that he had never been violent towards her.

As for the forensic expertise showing that Maloku had signs of violence and cigarette burns on her body, she said they were a normal part of their relationship.

The case was also gained strong political dimensions.

Rrahman Rraja - the Socialist Party MP whose son is on the spotlight - said on Monday that he does not plan to resign his MP candidate while, later, through a Facebook status, added he had not pressured the police and asked the prosecution to get to the end of the case. 

The opposition, on the other hand, accused the prosecution and government again on Monday of failing to do their job and protect their citizens. 

“The arrest just for show in exchange of the public opinion’s silence. The arrest of a ruthless rapist with the lightest charge, that of persecution, is the trick that Rama is using to protect the criminals who provide him with power in Kruja and Fushë Krujë,” Democratic Party MP Jorida Tabaku stated.

“The denunciation and prosecution of the accused were not closed by the police even though the denouncer insisted on withdrawing the charges. Within 24 hours there was a punitive reaction by suspending and prosecuting the police officer in the Prosecutor's Office who did not comply with law and duty. We reiterate that the State Police has not been intimidated by any party and by anyone and its actions have been fair and professional,” the ministry of interior reacted on Monday to the opposition’s accusations through deputy minister Romina Kuko. 

The ministry has highlighted that despite the withdrawal of charges by Maloku, i has brought the case to the prosecutor's office, has punished an employee, while for former subcommittee Nuhu did not fulfill the duties left by the prosecutor of the case.

 
                    [post_title] => Police arrests Socialist MP’s son, while Maloku denies initial accusations against him  
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => police-arrests-socialist-mps-son-while-maloku-denies-initial-accusations-against-him
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-10-02 10:13:53
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-02 08:13:53
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=138671
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

        )

    [post] => WP_Post Object
        (
            [ID] => 138761
            [post_author] => 281
            [post_date] => 2018-10-08 15:18:43
            [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-08 13:18:43
            [post_content] => TIRANA, Oct. 8 - One person was killed and two more were injured on Thursday night in Tirana, at the main bars and restaurants crowded area known as Blloku, for reasons still unclear.

Erivs Martinaj - a well-known figure for the Albanian police and justice system - was in the premises of the bar and was shot upon. 

Martinaj was injured along with Eljon Hato, the latter in critical condition, while Fabiol Gaxha, Martinaj’s bodyguard, took a bullet on the head, which instantly killed him.

Both Martinaj and Hato were arrested by the police in context of the case’s investigation, while Ervin Mata, 31 years old, Fabjol Alushi, 42 years old, and Merviol Bilo, 41 years old, are now wanted by the police. 

All three are suspected of being involved in the fight that led to Gaxha’s death. Bilo, a member of the Army’s Commando Force, is suspected to be the person who gunned down Gaxha.

Bilo simultaneously turned out to be the bodyguard of a famous Albanian singer - the assault against her being considered as a lead for what caused the armed clash between the groups. However, prosecutors have reason to believe the clash was at heart linked with unfinished business in the criminal activities between the groups.  

Martinaj was among the persons involved in a murder that occurred in a cafe on the outskirts of Tirana, near the road to Dajti, in November 2015.

Although the prosecution proposed a sentence of more than 20 years of imprisonment for Martinaj and his collaborators, the Tirana court dismissed the accusation of "premeditated murder in co-operation" by punishing the murder’s author and giving light sentences to Martinaj and two other persons with the justification that it was a murder that was born of an instant conflict.

Martinaj is currently running his own betting chain in Albania, among other private enterprises, while local media have reported that Hato was supposed to be in prison, from where,in 2014, he ordered the murder of a doctor in Shkodra. 

The details of the case are still unclear and subject to change as police is investigating the case for the underlying criminal activities of the bands. 

 
            [post_title] => Armed clash with one dead in Bllok area highlights capital’s underground criminal activity
            [post_excerpt] => 
            [post_status] => publish
            [comment_status] => closed
            [ping_status] => closed
            [post_password] => 
            [post_name] => armed-clash-with-one-dead-in-bllok-area-highlights-capitals-underground-criminal-activity
            [to_ping] => 
            [pinged] => 
            [post_modified] => 2018-10-08 15:18:43
            [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-08 13:18:43
            [post_content_filtered] => 
            [post_parent] => 0
            [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=138761
            [menu_order] => 0
            [post_type] => post
            [post_mime_type] => 
            [comment_count] => 0
            [filter] => raw
        )

    [queried_object] => stdClass Object
        (
            [term_id] => 28
            [name] => News
            [slug] => news
            [term_group] => 0
            [term_taxonomy_id] => 28
            [taxonomy] => category
            [description] => 
            [parent] => 0
            [count] => 9971
            [filter] => raw
            [cat_ID] => 28
            [category_count] => 9971
            [category_description] => 
            [cat_name] => News
            [category_nicename] => news
            [category_parent] => 0
        )

    [queried_object_id] => 28
    [post__not_in] => Array
        (
        )

)

Latest News

Read More