Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Albania Mayor 'Forgets' Crime Charges in Germany

Elvis, or Ervin, Rroshi, mayor of Kavaja, has said in a statement issued under Albania's lustration law that while he faced charges in Germany some years ago, he does not remember why.
Gjergj Erebara

Albania PM Edi Rama campaigning with Kavaja mayor Elvis Rroshi. Photo: Facebook
An Albanian mayor has caused confusion by claiming he did not remember why he faced criminal charges in Munich, Germany, several years ago.
Elvis Rroshi, mayor of Kavaja since 2011, and a man often accused of having a criminal past, had to declare any prior charges and convictions to the Central Election Commission under the Law “On the Integrity of Persons Elected or Nominated in Public Offices”.
In his statement, which was leaked to the media on Sunday, he answered “Yes” to the question about whether he had ever faced criminal charges abroad and said that it happened in Munich “before 2002”.
However, he went on state that he did “not remember” why he faced charges and nor did he remember what the consequences of the charges were.
The law, approved last year in parliament after two years of discussions, obliges about 1,836 politicians and senior officials in Albania to declare whether they were ever charged or sentenced for criminal activity and authorizes the authorities to check their statements.
If they were accused of serious crimes, they must resign. If the lie in the statements, they have to resign as well.
The statements of the officials will later be verified through correspondence between Albania's General Prosecutor's Office and the authorities of other countries.
In a statement issued after the leak, Rroshi confirmed the admission but added that his troubles with German justice were related to his work as illegal immigrant and not to more serious breaches of the law.
“This happened because I was an illegal immigrant,” Rroshi said. “I have stated that I don’t remember the details because I would like to be accurate,” the statement added.
Rroshi is one of several politicians and other state officials accused of having criminal pasts or confirmed as having been sentenced for serious crimes, including murder, human trafficking and drug trafficking.
An earlier investigation by BIRN noted that Swiss police records show that Rroshi was the subject of criminal proceedings there from 1993 to 1997.

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