Italian IMSI-Catcher may have threatened national security says head of parliamentary investigative committee

Albanian Parliament Investigative Committee
Special Investigative Committee in session at the Albanian Parliament

Tirana, Nov 1 (Tirana Echo) – An Italian IMSI-Catcher tapping device may have been used to spy on the highest state officials of Albania and could have endangered national security, says head of investigative parliamentary body Flamur Noka, as the all party investigative committee started looking at the sensitive affair yesterday at the Albanian Parliament.

It seems like this device may have been used to spy on heads of state, MPs, politicians, diplomats, prosecutors, judges, journalists and businessmen” said the chair of the investigative parliamentary committee set up earlier this month to look into the affair.

Mr. Noka, opposition democratic MP and former minister of interior of Albania said that the IMSI-Catcher which was brought from the Italian authorities in Albania for ‘training’ purposes, has not only been used by Italian ‘Interforza’ officers, suggesting that exponents of the Albanian police may have used the device to spy on several high level people in Tirana, in violation of the previously agreed use of the tapping device.

It has been used by individuals of the Albanian Police Force without the presence of authorized Italian officers, in violence of the law, Constitution of Albania and breech of human rights, therefore in our view, the national security of Albania has been threatened”, concluded Noka.

Socialist MPs present in the meeting claimed that the committee’s object of investigation is void as long as the General Prosecutor is investigating the case.

As you claim to have proof and full materials that spying has taken place, I suggest you put them at the disposal of the prosecutor and our investigation ends here”, said senior socialist MP Paulin Sterkaj, asking the committee chair to send all materials the opposition possesses to the prosecutor’s office.

The parliamentary investigative committee chaired by the opposition democrats will ask several high level officials to testify on the potentially explosive spying affair of the Italian IMSI-Catcher.

The committee is expected to ask Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri, Director of Secret Service of Albania Visho Ajazi, General Director of Albanian Police Haki Cako and the Director of Prisons Miklovan Kopani.

The IMSI-Catcher spying device was brought to Albania through Italian diplomatic channels at the Port of Durres and according to reports, its entry into Albanian territory was never registered as Albanian law requires

As Tirana Echo reported earlier this month, the ‘Spy-Story’ could expose a real scandal in Italian-Albanian police cooperation and may put a strain on diplomatic relations between the two neighboring countries.

 

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