Thursday, May 19, 2016

Albania Security Chiefs Testify About Mystery Device

Chiefs of the four highest security institutions in the country testified to MPs on Wednesday about the mysterious police training device that some say is being used for illicit wiretapping. 


The head of Informative Service, Visho Ajazi testifing on Wednesday in the Parliament | Photo: LSA/Malton Dibra

The head of Albania's Information Service, SHISH, Visho Ajazi, on Wednesday told the parliamentary commission on security that a mysterious device that had entered in the country for police training purposes could pose a risk to national security.

The head of SHISH, the Interior Minister, the General Prosecutor and the General Director of Police were reporting for almost eight hours to the commission about electronic equipment at police headquarters, which the opposition and President say is being used for wiretapping.

Visho said that he was informed that two months ago a device for training reasons had entered Albania, without the General Prosecutor's office, the institution in charge for communications interception, being informed.

"We were concerned that the device would be used in an illegal way and I reported this information to the General Prosecutor. If this device enters Albania, the General Prosecutor has to give its permission...

"This device could be a risk for national security if it has the capacity to intercept communications. Then all the heads of the state could be vulnerable to wiretapping," he said.

Though the head of SHISH said that he had no further information about whether the device had been used for wiretapping during these months, and that was a question to be answered by the prosecutor.

The General Prosecutor, Adriatic Llalla, told MPs that on May 13 they opened an investigation into the case after receiving verbal information from the secret service.

"We have a duty to open an investigation, even more so when there are doubts about the violation of national security," he said.

Llalla said the undergoing investigation, that is expected to end soon, will conclude whether the device was used in a legal manner or not.

Testifying also before the commission, the Interior Minister, Samir Tahiri, repeated that the device entered Albania under an agreement with Italian police forces who were using it to teach their Albanian counterpart new techniques in hunting criminals.

"This device did not enter illegally... and it doesn't offer the opportunity to intercept communications,” he maintained.

The same point was emphasized during the questioning of the General Police Director, Haki Cako, who assured MPs that "there is not and never has been a device for communications interceptions in the state police".

No comments: