2-years behind bars for Adriatik Llalla, Appeal Court upholds previous ruling

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The Special Appeal Court ruled to uphold an earlier decision that sent former Prosecutor General Adriatik Llalla to two years behind bars, as well as banning him from holding any public post for five years.

Llalla was convicted for non-declaring his assets, in connection with his son’s birth in the United States. According to prosecutors, the birth costs were around $7,000.

Several properties have also been seized and is due to pass to state ownership.

The former prosecutor-general did not show up at the trial. According to the procedure, the former official must be escorted to prison.

His attorney Sokol Hazizaj said the court’s decision is “unfair”, and confirmed that the next step will be to turn to the High Court.

Hazizaj said that he has no information on Llalla’s whereabouts, but added that he has been hospitalized due to an “incurable disease”.

But his attorney did not specify whether Llalla is hospitalized in Albania or abroad, while the Special Appeal Court has still to confirm where will the former prosecutor-general carry out his sentence.

The court order makes Llalla the very first high justice official to be sent to jail. In 2018, Llalla was declared persona-non-grata by the United States.

Legal expert Ledio Braho considered the ruling as “significant” but added that the true extent of the justice reform will only be comprehended when state functionaries, and not ex-employees, are put behind bars.

“His state of health might be one of the mechanisms used by his attorney to suspend the decision from being executed. Nevertheless, this too, has to pass through the court”, explained Braho.

The sentence carries a maximum prison term of three years.

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