TOP Analysis, Prognoses and News about Greek - Albanian Relations and the Region.
Friday, July 27, 2012
USA, 6 years in prison for Albanian diplomat
Almost two years after extradited to America, the former secretary of
the Foreign Ministry, Almir Rrapo, was sentenced to six years in prison
in USA for “extraordinarily heinous” crimes with a Staten Island drug
The 29-year-old old was
arrested in Tirana while applying for a US visa. In the next six months,
Rrapo made everything possible to avoid extradition.
adviser of the Foreign Ministry was handed over to the US authorities
based on the only extradition agreement that both countries have since
the ‘30s, when Albania was a monarchy under Zog, so that Rrapo could
face trial for the accusations regarding the so called “Krasniqi Gang”
and the charges for a murder in Queens, a violent kidnapping and others.
The Rrapo case troubled the judiciary but it also showed how
the trials are delayed in our country. The Court of First Degree and the
Court of Appeal sayd “yes” to Rrapo’s extradition to the US, but a
delayed decision of the Supreme Court returned the case for a review
exactly when Rrapo was extradited and he wasn’t in Albania anymore.
Court of First Degree was finally able to give the extradition order
while Rrapo was already being trialed in America and had decided to
cooperate with justice.
Asked as member of the Krasniqi Group,
led by the brothers Bruno and Saimir Krasniqi, Almir Rrapo testified
against them which caused their arrest.
According to New York
Post, defense lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman called Rrapo, 29, “a shining
example of what a cooperator should be,” noting that “he ran away from
these people because he had enough,” then turned his life around.
swear to God, I’ve been in prison for two years [and] I felt nothing
but disgust for the corruptness and the wickedness that surrounds me
each day,” Rrapo added, according to NY Post.
The testimony of
Almir Rrapo helped the US authorities not only to find the killer, but
also to destroy an international drug traffic led by the Krasniqi
brothers, a traffic that was allegedly moving one billion USD.
and DEA were after this organization for years, but they were unable to
verify the traffic for which Rrapo’s testimony resulted decisive.