Monday, October 31, 2011

Albania Opposition MPs Pay Dearly for Slander

Three Socialist MPs were fined for slander last week for political accusations, ordered to pay thousands of euros to their colleagues from the ruling Democratic Party.

Besar Likmeta
Socialist MP Taulabt Balla speaking during a parliamentary session | Photo courtesy of

On Tuesday the Tirana district court fined with 3.3 million lek (€23,000) junior opposition MP Samir Tahir for accusation made against Democratic Party MP Albana Vokshi for an alleged conflict of interest in an oil contract obtained by her living-partner’s company.

Meanwhile on Friday the curt fined with two million lek, (€14,000) Artan Gaci, yet another Socialist MP who had also accused Vokshi of conflict of interests and corruption.

The same day Socialist MP Taulant Balla was also fined for slander for 700,000 lek, (€4930), for accusations made against the deputy director of police Agron Kuliçaj, allegedly that the police chief was involved in an oil contraband scheme.

Two other Socialist MPs, Eduard Shalsi and Ermonela Felaj, have been fined earlier for slander by the district court based on lawsuits brought up by Vokshi.

The Socialist MPs have denied any wrongdoing and panned the rulings as politically motivated and disproportionate.

At least three other Socialist MPs have been sued by Vokshi for the same allegations and are currently on trial in Tirana’s district court.

In Albania’s charged and tense political climate accusation of corruption and abuse of power are common from both sides of the political spectrum.

Opposition leader Edi Rama had launched a series of similar slander suits earlier these year against Democratic Party MPs, and Prime Minister Sali Berisha, but they were all dismissed by the court.

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