Court rules to leave former environment minister in prison

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The Special Court against Corruption and Organized Crime ruled on Thursday to send the former minister to a pretrial detention center while pending trial.

Judge Erjon Bani has granted the prosecution’s request to hold the former minister in prison until the investigation concludes.

Koka’s attorney declared in front of reporters that his client had pleaded “not guilty” and ruled out “any criminal responsibility for enforcing the procedures” during his time as minister.

“Lefter Koka maintained a stance which is responsive to the truth and reality and is completely innocent. So, he’s being accused of abuse of office in his role as environment minister and confirmed once again that he bears no responsibility in regards to the procedures applied for the Elbasan incinerator. Mr. Koka is not responsible, is not alluding nor thinks that anyone else is responsible”, his attorney added.

“In regards to the allegations of corruption, that will need to be proved. It’s not normal that he is being investigated but was never summoned. The beginning of this process has been completely political”, he concluded.

Koka arrived on Thursday at the Special Court in a police van for his initial appearance.

The session began at 11:15 AM behind closed doors where Koka will be represented by two attorneys, Fatmir Braka and Julian Mertiri.

The judge appointed to the case is Erjon Bani, while the prosecutor leading the investigation Klodian Braho was also present in court.

Euronews Albania journalist Eni Ferhati explained that the prosecutor will present his arguments, mainly on holding the former minister in a pretrial detention center until the end of the investigation.

The former defense minister was arrested on Tuesday at his home in Durres following SPAK’s order.

Koka is accused of “abuse of office”, “money laundering” and “corruption” during the time he served as environment minister, as well as favoring a company for the waste incinerator of Elbasan.

The police are still searching for the administrators of the two companies involved in the affair, but suspect that the two might have left the country.

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76 COMMENTS

  1. I admit, I have not been on this webpage in a long time however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues.Great stuff as usual.

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