Today, the first court session for File 184 from the Albanian Electiongate scandal is taking place in Dibra today.
The File includes a number of wiretaps that show collusion between various state officials, police, and Socialist Party MPs appearing to discuss intimidating voters and buying votes in the 2016 local elections.
After closing the investigation a month ago, the Prosecution has filed charges against only 4 people, while asking that the rest of the suspects have the case dismissed against them.
The defendants are:
Robert Aga, former head of the police station in Debar, accused of abuse of office;
Drini Gjeçi, former director of education, accused of abuse of office and intimidation of voters;
Nuri Meda, an official in the Tomin administrative unit, accused of abuse of office
Hasan Hoti, Lura administrative unit, accused of intimidating voters
The Prosecution has requested the dismissal of the case of Dionis Imeraj, Imer Lala, Arben Keshi, Bekim Krashi, Afrim Mikli, arguing that for these persons the criminal offence of vote-buying is statute-barred as three years have passed since the alleged crime took place.
Abuse of office under Article 248 has a sentence of up to 7 years while threatening voters from one to four years under Article 329 of the Criminal Code.
Today it is decided whether the file will be returned for investigation or the trial will continue.
In September 2019, the Prosecution of Serious Crimes passed the investigation for “File 184” back to the prosecution of Dibra where it was presided over by the cousin of one of the accused. This switch was made in violation of the law.
In January 2020, the SPAK upheld the decision and refused to consider the matter.
Although file 184 includes wiretaps of former Minister Saimir Tahiri and serving MP Damian Gjiknuri in conversations with police, businessmen and suspects who are engaged in securing votes illegally for the elections in Debar, – SPAK said they would not consider it. Furthermore, there has been no explanation as to why these individual have not had charges filed against them.
We recall that the DP has appealed the decision and demands that all persons intercepted in this file be brought to justice.