Resigned opposition MP charged with one year in prison

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 20, 2019 13:04

Resigned opposition MP charged with one year in prison

Story Highlights

  • The number two of the Democratic Party, Gazmend Bardhi, spoke of a political decision, according to him, aimed at silencing the opposition.

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TIRANA, Dec. 19 – A Tirana court ruled as guilty and sentenced to one year in prison on Thursday the former Democratic Party MP Ervin Salianji on charges of ‘False Reporting” for involvement in the audio-tapping of former Interior Minister Fatmir Xhafaj’s brother.

In its ruling, the court also sentenced Albert Veliu to three years and five months in prison, who confessed to going through with the wiretapping. 

Two years in prison were given to Fredi Alizoti, who turned out to be the man who had been acting as Geron Xhafaj, the former minister’s brother, in a conversation with Veliu. While journalist Jetmir Olldashi, who had given Veliu the surveillance device, was sentenced to six months in prison, but this will be converted to 100 hours of public service work.

According to the Prosecution’s investigation, the former deputy Salianji was involved in “creating false evidence to politically harm Fatmir Xhafaj, at the time holding the post of interior minister.”

As in the prosecution’s hearing, there were many former Democratic lawmakers in the room on Thursday. 

The number two of the Democratic Party, Gazmend Bardhi, spoke of a political decision, according to him, aimed at silencing the opposition. 

Salianji also accused District Judge Artan Gjermeni of being a criminal gang member and that the verdict against him had been predetermined. 

“It was a decision made long ago, unfounded in law, unfounded in evidence, unfounded in facts. Based solely on the political will of the Prime Minister and on the political ambition of the judge who is a member of the Lushnja gangs and charged with strong links to gangs and crime in this country,” Salianji said, adding that he would continue to seek his right to other degrees of the judiciary.

From the headquarters of the Democratic Party, President Lulzim Basha was on the same line when he said that “for the Democratic Party and for me personally, there is no doubt that the soldier of the Lushnja gang had long taken the political decision that Edi Rama announced from the first day the Xhafaj scandal was published. Edi Rama’s retaliation against MP Ervin Salianji and journalist Jetmir Olldashi, who exposed his government as directly involved in drug trafficking, is no surprise to us,”said Basha.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 20, 2019 13:04