Construction company Edil Al-It has sued Artan Rama, a distinct public voice and collaborator of Exit. Representatives of the company have accused the director of the program Publicús for slander and defamation because of an article published on Facebook : “Chiaroscuro in the hall of the Theater.” In t the lawsuit, Edil Al-It demands 15 million lekë (~€110,000) from Rama for damages.
In the article Rama claims that a conglomerate of the companies Edil.al-it and AgiKons have used suspicious ways to win a tender in November 2016 for the reconstruction of the National Theater of Opera and Folkloric Ensemble, at a value of 10 billion lekë (~€73.5 million).
The article is based on a document issued by the General Directorate of Taxes, which shows that the construction company has unpaid taxes for July 2016. According to the law on public procurement, this should disqualify them from participating in the tender.
The representatives of the company deny this allegation. They claim that the document isn’t signed by the institution, and that therefore the standpoint of Mr. Rama isn’t correct.
In the article published in Reporter Artan Rama states:
My team and I faced similar blackmail and threats while filming in Sharra to investigate the death of Ardit Gjoklaj.
We carry a legal and ethical responsibility to expose the truth even when this damages someone else. The freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Constitution and therefore our convictions cannot be restricted.
In a phone conversation with Reporter, Genc Dulaku, the owner of Edil Al-It, declared that Rama’s remarks are slander and that it was their legal right to address the court for the damage caused to the company. Dulaku added:
I think that the damage is much higher but each one sees it from their own perspective. They should get used to taking responsibility when they talk and write recklessly.
The company Edil Al-It is part of Edil Al, owner of Vizion Plus TV and the digital platform Tring TV. The investigative show Publicús, formerly hosted by Rama, was transmitted on Vizion Plus TV until it was unexpectedly discontinued in October. This was right before the airing of the material on the tragic death of 17-years-old Ardit Gjoklaj at the landfill in Sharra, in whose death Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj has been implied.