Court remands former Minister of Interior case

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 27, 2020 11:19

Court remands former Minister of Interior case

TIRANA, June 26 - The case against former Minister of Interior Saimir Tahiri has been sent back to the Special Court of First Instance by the Court of Appeals for Corruption and Organized Crime. 

According to the Court of Appeal, the Court of First Instance had made an error by changing the charges. "The court erroneously applied Article 375 of the Criminal Procedure Code as in this case the court did not re-evaluate the same fact attributed to the defendants by the prosecution, but de facto filed a new charge, for which Saimir Tahiri and Jaeld Çela have not been investigated and has not been attributed to them," the Court stated..

The appeal was addressed by the Prosecution, which held its initial position, but also by Tahiri himself, according to whom the Catania Prosecutor's Office in Italy, which had investigated the Habilaj brothers, had found him uninvolved in their criminal activity and as such could not be tried twice for the same case.

"This college assessed that the decision taken by the judge of the preliminary investigation of Catania in Italy does not meet the conditions to be considered final in compliance with Article 34 of the Constitution of Albania ", the Court of Appeal stated.

After the announcement, the former Minister of Interior insisted on his innocence, claiming that it was "an injustice" as he has never been found guilty of the charges. 

"The prosecution accused me and I followed this process with the maximum correctness, giving up the function of deputy. and facing him as a citizen ", he declared, emphasizing that he will go to the end of the process.

Tahiri turned into a controversial topic in 2017, when Italian police arrested an Albanian-Italian criminal ring led by the Habilaj brothers.

Wiretaps made public in Albania included the Habilaj brothers mentioning Tahiri in their conversation from the time the latter was minister of interior.

In September last year, the court sentenced Tahiri to 3 years of probation on charges of abuse of power. The prosecution, in turn, had sought a sentence of 12 years in prison on three charges: Narcotics trafficking in the form of a structured criminal group; Participation in a structured criminal group, and committing the crime in a structured criminal group, claiming his connection with the so-called Habilaj group accused of cannabis trafficking from Albania to Italy. 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 27, 2020 11:19