The Court decides to suspend passport to former Minister Tahiri

Sajmir Tahiri and Moisi Habilaj
Sajmir Tahiri (left) and Moisi Habilaj (right)

 The Serious Crimes Court decided on Tuesday to suspend the passport of former Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri after the prosecution pretends has obtained new evidence against him on account of a two-month investigation.

Tahiri is charged with the criminal offenses of "narcotics trafficking" and "passive corruption" but his legal situation was further aggravated on November 1 when Elbasan police arrested the 25-year-old Orest Sota and found and sequestred in his car 865 thousand of euros as well as two passports two patents for sailing sea vehicles of former Interior Minister. During the arrest warrant for Sota, the Prosecution claimed that the money found in his car belonged to Tahiri.

A Prosecution source who spoke with BIRN in anonymity states that during the security measure at the Serious Crimes Court, the indictment filed new evidence obtained from the expertise of the three phones of Orest Sota.

Tahiri's lawyer Artan Hajdari voiced doubts about the prosecution's allegations of new evidence, considering her movement as "tactical". However, Hajdari said he could not give a stand without reading the court's decision, while adding that his client had initially expressed the willingness to be placed at the disposal of the investigation.

The legal troubles for the former minister began in mid-October when Italian anti-mafia broke up an Albanian drug trafficking group, including Tahiri, Moisiu and Florian Habilaj's cousins. Tahiri's name is mentioned several times in the interviews conducted by Italian anti-mafia since 2013, where members of the group expressed the large sums of money they owed to the ex-minister or the costly gifts to his family.

The accused of trafficking cannabis in southern Italy are also spied saying they have in their pockets police and army segments.

After the announcement of the interception in Albania, the Serious Crimes Prosecution asked the Assembly for authorization to arrest Tahiri, but this request was overturned with majority votes as unfounded in evidence. Later, the Prosecution appealed to the court only to secure a control warrant at Tahiri's house.

On November 22, the Serious Crimes Prosecution ordered the arrest of three former executives in the Vlora police as implicated in the case of "Habilaj". The order-arrests continue to remain unexecuted, as none of the former accused is feld in police traces and they all have disappeared.
The Court decides to suspend passport to former Minister Tahiri The Court decides to suspend passport to former Minister Tahiri Tuesday, December 12, 2017 Rating: 5
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