Albania Denies Political Motivation Behind Imprisonment of Elected Mayor

Fredi Beleri Heimara

Albania maintains that the recent arrest and imprisonment of Fredi Beleri, a newly elected mayor who also won a seat in the European Parliament, is purely based on evidence of attempted vote-buying. The case has sparked tensions with Greece, which contests the charges and accuses Albania of denying Beleri's rights.

Albania has denied that the arrest and imprisonment of Fredi Beleri were politically motivated. Prime Minister Edi Rama stated that the government has not interfered in the case and that the justice system is acting independently. He pointed out that other mayors from his own party have also been jailed for crimes committed during their tenure, demonstrating the impartiality of the justice system.

The Albanian government maintains that Beleri was caught red-handed attempting to buy votes and that the evidence against him is not yet public as the investigation is ongoing. They argue that Beleri's case is being treated no differently than other vote-buying cases, with the only difference being that he was caught in the act, while other cases are still under investigation.

Albania also rejects the notion that Beleri should be allowed to take the oath of office as mayor from prison, stating that no such provision exists in Albanian law. The government insists that the justice system is following due process and that Beleri's rights are being respected, despite Greece's accusations of wrongful arrest, detention, and denial of rights.

Beleri's election to the European Parliament has further complicated the situation, with many questioning how he can effectively represent his constituents while serving a prison sentence.

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