Appointment of Albania’s new chief spy decreed by president after one year hanging

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 6, 2018 16:00

Appointment of Albania’s new chief spy decreed by president after one year hanging

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  • Asked last December on this issue, Meta said that "such a decision is important and the President of the Republic must be convinced that a final decision strengthens the independence and efficiency of such an important national security institution.”

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TIRANA, Nov. 6 – Albanian President Ilir Meta announced on Tuesday he signed the decree appointing Helidon Bendo as the new Director of the State Intelligence Service (SHISH).

Bendo, who has so far served as deputy director of SHISH, was proposed about a year ago to take over leading this institution right after his predecessor Visho Ajazi resigned.

Meta kept the decree of his appointment hanging during this entire time, although Bendo actually led the institution with all the competencies the director would have.

Asked last December on this issue, Meta said that “such a decision is important and the President of the Republic must be convinced that a final decision strengthens the independence and efficiency of such an important national security institution.”

A career intelligence officer and a mathematician by training, Bendo had been at the service since the tumultuous 1990s, at the same time that Ajazi also signed up.

However, Ajazi left to live in Canada for many years working in IT, where his primary training is based, until returning as head of the intelligence service.

Albanian media reported this week Ajazi had competed several months ago to get a job as a security advisor at NATO headquarters, indicating he was planning to leave the service.

SHISH is Albania’s primary intelligence service. Its responsibilities include acquiring intelligence and counterintelligence on issues relevant to national security. Its responsibilities also extend to issues related to constitutional order and specifically encompass a role in fighting organized crime, illegal trafficking and terrorism.

Meanwhile, Ajazi’s resignation last year, after serving as the head of SHISH for five years, sparked questions whether the decision was personal or had come under pressure from the government.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 6, 2018 16:00