New Shkodra mayor resigns as prosecution launches investigation in criminal past

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 16, 2019 10:13

New Shkodra mayor resigns as prosecution launches investigation in criminal past

Story Highlights

  • Pjetri was accused three days earlier by the Democratic Party of being convicted in Italian court for narcotics trafficking in 2003 and of extradition from the neighboring country.

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TIRANA, Aug. 16 – Valdrin Pjetri, who won the mayor of Shkodra mandate in the June 30 local elections, announced on Thursday evening his resignation through a status on his Facebook page. 

Pjetri was accused three days earlier by the Democratic Party of being convicted in Italian court for narcotics trafficking in 2003 and of extradition from the neighboring country. 

The DP presented the original documents proving Peter’s conviction by the Italian court.

In his Facebook announcement, Pjetri stated that “under these conditions, his attention and energies will now be fully focused on resolving and legally clarifying this event of 17 years ago, the legal responsibilities of which he claimed he was not aware of. 

“Aware of the importance of the political image and determined to undertake this legal clarification in the position of an ordinary citizen, without burdening anyone, I decide to resign from the post of Mayor of Shkodra,” Pjetri wrote. 

Also on Thursday, the Democratic Party, presenting to the media a luxury hotel in Tirana, which Pjetri co-owns, demanded the confiscation of his property, suspected of stemming from his drug trafficking activity.

A day after Pjetri announced his resignation, the General Prosecutor’s Office announced that verifications begun on the cleanliness of his figure. 

Responding to the DP request dated August 13, 2019, the Prosecutor General’s Office announced that “on 05.08.2019, it has registered the request for detailed verification of the subject Valdrin Pjetri, and that the process of full and comprehensive verification has begun, inside and outside the territory of Albania” and that it asked the citizen Valdrin Pjetri “to deposit his typographic traces at the Institute of Scientific Police.”

Also today, Rama, via a Twitter status, reacted to Pjetrir’s decision to resign as mayor following the allegations by the DP. 

“Hiding the event is intolerable and the consequences for Shkodra unjustified!,” Rama wrote.

Prime Minister Rama, who has been repeatedly accused of promoting crime-related figures in recent years, said today it’s “time to introduce state-wide deadlines for state verification of candidacies before their registration.”

For Rama, the Pjetri case demonstrates the need to launch “state verification of all the self-declarations of politicians and state employees who have signed up. Any false self-declaration should result in criminal exemption and punishment. Individual liability can no longer have a collective cost strand.”

In the decriminalization form presented to the Central Election Commission Pjetri noted that he had never been convicted, neither inside nor outside the country.

The decriminalization law prohibits Pjetri from exercising a public office. 

In the meantime, he runs the risk of being charged with “Forgery of Official Documents” and “False Disclosure”.

Pjetri has a long career in the Albanian state offices. He has worked in important positions, first in the government of the Democrats and then in the Socialists. Therefore, it is not clear how he managed to survive this long, having been convicted by an Italian court for drug trafficking. 

 

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 16, 2019 10:13