The Serious Crimes Prosecution has called for a 12 years prison sentence for former minister Saimir Tahiri as the latter was tried on reduced judicial proceedings. According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Tahiri is entitled to a 1/3 sentence reduction, which led prosecutors to seek out an 8 year prison sentence for the former Socialist Party MP.
For nearly three hours, prosecutors of the case, Vladimir Mara, Arenc Cela and Dritan Premci delivered their arguments and also sought an 8 year prison sentences for the former Vlora district director of police, Jahled Cela. In the meantime, during the court session, Tahiri took over the defense and explained that when Italian authorities seized a certain amount of drugs, he had been assigned to the position of Minister for nearly two months.
According to Tahiri, this amount of time is insufficient to grow narcotic plants. He argued that it would be impossible for him to ease terms of drug trafficking to Italy for the Habilaj group. Tahiri claimed that the Habilaj group had been subject to criminal proceedings twice when he was in office and if he would be their supporter, a single officer would never dare to detain them let alone launch such proceedings.
Referring to a wiretapping between the Habilaj brothers, when in a communication between Moisi and Florjan, the latter is heard saying that he was in Tirana ‘ at the request of the big boss’, (identified by the prosecution as Tahiri), Tahiri stated that the ‘ big boss’ could be anyone, listing a number of former and current high officials.
Tahiri defended his former subordinates who are also on trial, adding that Gjergji Kohila, head of the Organized Crime Sector in Vlora at the time, had e-mailed the prosecutor informing him of the criminal activity carried out by the Habilaj group.
“It seems that we are a structured criminal group and cooperate with each other, while also notifying the prosecution that Habilaj is involved in narcotics,” stated Tahiri, mocking the charges against himself and his subordinates.
According to reports, Tahiri entered the court premises today holding a placard where he had listed all the charges raised against him by the prosecution. During his defense, Tahiri provided details in his arguments in an attempt to disprove the charges, stating that if there is any evidence that he has committed any illegal act, he would enter the prison himself.
Following the conclusion of Tahiri’s 7 hour judicial proceedings, he stopped for journalists stating: “Practice has shown that those who have been accused of murder, theft, fraud and other crimes remain on top of the political sphere today. I’m not thinking about these things, I’m thinking about my own justice”.
Next judicial session on Tahiri’s case, is scheduled for September 19, when the court is also expected to rule. Tiranapost.al/