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Former Albanian prime minister under house arrest amid corruption investigation – POLITICO

An Albanian court has ruled that Sali Berisha, former prime minister and current opposition leader, should be placed under house arrest as part of a corruption investigation.

Berisha, Albanian prime minister between 2005 and 2013, is under investigation for allegedly abusing his power by helping to privatize public land to build 17 apartments for the benefit of his son-in-law.

Berisha, now leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, has denied the allegations, arguing that the matter is politicized and orchestrated by current Prime Minister Edi Rama. Berisha’s lawyer said he would appeal Saturday’s verdict, which also bars him from leaving the country and communicating with anyone except family members.

In a statement, Berisha’s Democratic Party denounced the decision as being “imposed without any evidence, facts or documents” and accused Rama of violating the Albanian constitution and taking “Stalinist measures” to silence his rival.

Rama said he did not “consider it a victory” that Berisha had been placed under house arrest.

Prosecutors have yet to file formal charges against Berisha while the official investigation is still underway, but have said he violated previous legal requirements related to the case.

The Albanian Parliament voted last week to remove the former prime minister’s legal immunity. Berisha is also banned from entering the UK and US due to alleged corrupt practices.


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