Friday, July 27, 2012

USA, 6 years in prison for Albanian diplomat

USA, 6 years in prison for Almir Rrapo
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 gang.

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.

The former 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.

The 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.

“I 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.

FBI and DEA were after this organization for years, but they were unable to verify the traffic for which Rrapo’s testimony resulted decisive.

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