Could Albania’s Former General Prosecutor Adriatik Llalla Go Behind Bars?

US AMbassador in Albania Donald Lu and General Prosecutor Adriatik Llalla
US AMbassador in Albania Donald Lu and General Prosecutor Adriatik Llalla

Tirana, March 26 (Tirana Echo) – Albania’s main media outlets are today asking whether the country’s former general prosecutor could go behind bars, following reports by Germany’s public broadcaster Deutsche Welle that Adriatik Llalla is under official investigation.

Speculations have multiplied after an article at Deutsche Welle suggests the former prosecutor who left his 5 year mandate last December is subject to an investigation on huge money laundering scheme, despite his voluntary departure from the justice system of a highly corrupt Balkan country.

DW says that voluntary resignations which are provided as an option by the new vetting law, do not guarantee immunity from prosecution for the departed judges and prosecutors.

Justice is demonstrating it acts on the basis of proofs and facts. The most significant example is that of former General Prosecutor Adriatik Llalla, against whom the Prosecutor’s Office has started an investigation over a huge money laundering scheme, despite Llalla’s voluntary departure from the system.” – says DW in its article.

The German media outlet hints at facts and other documents already published over acquisitions and sales of huge chunks of farm land and other properties which Lllalla would purchase at a low price and after re-evaluation would sell them 20-30 times the original price.

Official documents point at financial transactions with shady people who may be linked to criminal activity. The investigation on Adriatik Llalla is a signal that the 20 year long culture of impunity in Albania is being dismantled. Diplomatic sources in Tirana who follow this process closely told DW that the case of the former prosecutor is only the start of a process of catching the ‘big fish’ and this would be followed by other cases.” – says Germany’s public international broadcaster.

In Albania the article is interpreted as a signal from official Berlin that Europe’s most powerful country wants to see concrete results from the Albanian government before it can agree to accession talks for membership into the European Union.

The new follows a recent statement by the current General prosecutor Arta Marku last week, that her predecessor’s mandate was marked by many problems, delays of investigations and blocked cases, adding the Prosecutor General Office has taken its responsibilities under the Constitution and that Llalla and may face corruption charges.

Earlier in February, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson publicly designated the former Albanian Prosecutor General Llalla under Section 7031(c) of the FY 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act due to his involvement in significant corruption.

The severe decision means Llalla and his non US citizen family members are banned from entering the United States, in what is seen as an unprecedented move from the State Department against an Albanian high official.

The European Union has requested to see tangible results in the fight against corruption before it formally starts membership talks with Albania later this year.

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