Minister Xhafaj Attacks Prosecution

As the parliamentary Council of Immunities is expected to meet this morning at 11:00 in Parliament in the presence of both former Minister Saimir Tahiri and the Serious Crimes Prosecutor Besim Hajdarmataj, Minister of Interior Fatmir Xhafaj has made a statement attacking the prosecution, stating that they are “used politically”:

As far as I see they simply want to use it. As regards what you asked me, if you would ask me from a legal perspective, that which has been written by the Prosecutors of Serious Crimes and for as much as I have read, is not something that expresses the intention of the law and a basis on facts.

You are in the case where parts of the prosecution are used politically in a heated political situation. I speak for as much as I saw. If the prosecution has more proof let’s wait for it and see it.

Before I am minister, I am a lawmaker and lawyer, and from this perspective I give my opinion. Such precedents are dangerous for justice and the parliamentary life.

Minister Xhafaj, who has been an investigator and prosecutor during the communist dictatorship, for which he never apologized to the victims of the regime, is himself in political danger, as his brother Agron Xhafaj is an internationally wanted drug trafficker. Moreover, he is politically responsible for the State Police, which is implied in the scandal.

Earlier, Minister Xhafaj had stated that the Habilaj–Tahiri affair was “not an issue.”

According to the dossier sent by the Prosecution to Parliament, former Minister Tahiri,

in collaboration with other persons exercizing a public function in the Republic of Albania, has managed to traffic out of the country with the destination Italy considerable amounts of narcotics. […] All the criminal activity was supported in collaboration of the criminal group with structures of the State Police, where the direct monetary profits went directly to former Minister of Interior Saimir Tahiri.