After weeks of attacks by US Ambassador Donald Lu, former General Prosecutor Adriatik Llalla released a statement today denying the “insidious accusations of corruption.”
Llalla moreover calls out Ambassador Lu’s attacks as “a travesty of diplomacy and a clear violation of Albanian and international law”:
“I categorically deny the insidious accusations of corruption lodged against me by U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu over the past few weeks. Ambassador Lu’s accusations are baseless and will be proven wrong if they are ever brought before a court of law.
“I take this opportunity to reiterate unequivocally that I have supported, and still support, the Justice Reform in Albania. I support all reform that serves the interests of the Albanian people by ensuring an independent judiciary and the separation of powers, and I stand against any attempt to place the judiciary under the influence of anyone – the government, any political party, oligarchs, or any other criminal or business interests. Of course, where appropriate, I have offered my views on specific proposals. My positions always reflected a deep concern about my duty as the General Prosecutor to ensure that the Prosecutor’s Office continued to fight crime and corruption while reforms were ongoing, and to maintain the morale of the many dedicated public servants who are not corrupt.
“Naturally, my record as General Prosecutor is open to public scrutiny and judgment. But I have never taken any action against the Justice Reform, I have never abused my office, and I have never engaged in an act of corruption.
“Ambassador Lu’s personal attacks are reckless and unacceptable. I am at a total loss to understand how a foreign ambassador could interfere in judicial processes conducted by local authorities of his host country. Not only has Ambassador Lu impermissibly injected himself into local prosecutions, but he has taken it upon himself to act as prosecutor, judge, and jury by publicly announcing that I am under investigation and then pronouncing me guilty without a shred of evidence or any due process.
“Unfortunately, this is only the latest attempt by Ambassador Lu to influence the administration of justice in Albania by indiscriminately attacking all prosecutors, including the honest, hard-working prosecutors who risk their lives to combat drug trafficking and political corruption. Ambassadors Lu’s conduct is a travesty of diplomacy and a clear violation of Albanian and international law. It is time that Ambassador Lu stops abusing his power to interfere with the administration of Albania’s legal system.”