Prosecutors suspect Albanian assassination conspiracy was staged

By bne IntelliNews March 23, 2015

bne IntelliNews -

 

Two Albanian MPs, who claimed they were the targets of an “assassination plot” masterminded by parliamentary speaker Ilir Meta, are suspected of making up the allegations, prosecutors said on March 20.

The General Prosecutor’s office said in a statement it had asked for permission from the parliament to arrest MPs Tom Doshi and Mark Frroku. They are suspected of several offences, namely false reporting, intimidation to issue false statements, testimonies, expertise or interpretation, and making a false declaration before the prosecutor.

Doshi publicly claimed on March 2 that Meta had attempted to hire a hitman, Durim Bami, to assassinate both him and Frroku. Prosecutors opened an attempted murder investigation on March 5 after hearing Doshi’s testimony.

Several top officials were called to make statements in the case, including Prime Minister Edi Rama, Meta, Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri and former president and prime minister Sali Berisha.

However, the General Prosecutor’s office said on March 20 that its investigation had raised “reasonable doubts that the event publicly denounced by the deputy Doshi and proved by him before the Prosecution Office has been invented. None of the evidence collected up to this stage of the investigation provided any concrete and reliable data on the organisation of the attempted murder of Tom Doshi.

“On the other hand, the Prosecution Office, based on the evidences and findings of the investigation, has concluded that this event is staged by the citizens Tom Doshi, Mark Frroku and Durim Bami,” the prosecutor’s statement continues.

The case, involving several of Albania’s top politicians, caused a deepening of the rift between the government and the opposition, who claim Rama and Tahiri attempted to cover up the scandal.

A parliamentary session on March 5 was disrupted when members of the opposition Democratic Party demanded Meta’s resignation before surrounding the podium. Thousands of Albanians joined a protest march on March 12, calling on the government to resign, and the Democratic Party says it will organise weekly protests in future.

 

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