US bans former Albanian General Prosecutor due to significant corruption involvement

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

Washington DC, Feb 15 (Tirana Echo) – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has publicly designated former Albanian Prosecutor General (Mr.) Adriatik Llalla under Section 7031(c) of the FY 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act due to his involvement in significant corruption.

In practice the 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 law voted last year in Congress, specifies that officials of foreign governments and their immediate family members who have been involved in significant corruption or a gross violation of human rights are ineligible for entry into the United States, subject to specified exceptions and waivers.

The decision by Secretary of State Tillerson against former Albanian prosecutor Adriatik Llalla, means the US has credible information that Llalla has been involved in significant corruption or gross violations of human rights, making him and his immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.

The law also requires the Secretary of State to publicly or privately designate such officials and their family members. In addition to the designation of Mr. Llalla, the Secretary has also publicly designated Mr. Llalla’s spouse, Ardjana Llalla, his daughter, Eni Llalla, and his other, non-U.S. citizen child as ineligible to enter the United States.

The decision comes after several months of friction between Llalla and US Ambassador in Albania Donald Lu, who last year accused the former prosecutor of hampering the US backed justice reform.

Llalla ended his duty as General prosecutor last December and immediately after used the provision provided by the new vetting law not to re-enter the justice system of the country. The provision allows former judges and prosecutors to escape the vetting procedures put in place to scan the entire judging and prosecuting body of Albania, as part of the milestone justice reform.

Following Llalla’s decision to withdraw from the justice system, the US Embassy in Tirana said that escaping the vettnig process does not grant you immunity from possible prosecution.

“The decision to withdraw does not protect such former officials from possible penal responsibilities on corruption or abuse with their duty. Those who are  afraid of the vetting process, should also be afraid of the unavoidable penal investigations”, said a statement by the US Embassy in Tirana.

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