Albania’s former central bank governor Ardian Fullani was cleared of abuse of office over the theft of ALL713mn (€5.1mn) from the bank, and is now seeking €500,000 in compensation for his dismissal back in 2014.
Fullani was charged in connection with the theft of ALL713mn from the Bank of Albania's reserves in 2014 and the bank’s acquisition of the Hotel Dajti. While he was not suspected of direct involvement in the thefts, he was accused of failing in his supervisory duties. The parliament voted to dismiss Fullani after protesters in several Albanian cities demanded his replacement.
However, in October 2015, a court in Tirana acquitted Fullani of all charges. The court declared him innocent and rejected the prosecution’s request for a five-year prison sentence.
The amount of €500,000 is sought for emotional distress and psychological suffering caused by Fullani's release from duty, Albania Daily News reported on April 5.
According to broadcaster TopChannel, the Albania central bank governor’s pay package is around $100,000 a year, or 11.7 times the income of the average Albanian. In relative terms, this is considerably higher than that of the governor of the US Federal Reserve, who makes around 3.8 times the average per capita income in the US. Sacked three years into his second seven-year term as governor, Fullani would have lost out on around $400,000 of income.
Albanian media reported in May 2015 that the Tirana court had sentenced two former central bank employees - Ardian Bitraj to 13.3 years in prison and Mimoza Bruzia to 10 years for their role in the central bank theft scandal.
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