Peter Tiede, the German journalist who published the election gate wiretaps told Exit that Bild “ignored” a legal letter from Edi Rama’s lawyer.
Tiede published a series of explosive prosecution wiretaps earlier this year which implicated the Prime Minister, senior government officials, and other government employees in practices of election rigging, voter intimidation, and corruption prior to the 2017 General Election.
On the tapes, Rama and others can be heard appearing collude in the rigging of the elections which the Socialist Party went on to win. Conversations also took place between politicians and members of criminal gangs where it is implied that votes were exchanged for political power and favours.
Despite Rama admitting his voice appears on the tapes as well as saying he would have the same conversations again, he announced that he had hired German lawyer Matthias Prinz to sue Bild and Peter Tiede.
When contacted by Exit, Tiede confirmed that they had received a legal letter on behalf of Rama but that it had been and would be ignored.
Rama’s lawyer is a specialist in reputation management and defamation and has represented the Swedish Royal Family, the Sultan of Brunei, David Beckham and Volkswagen. He commands some EUR 750 per hour for his time- a large sum for a Prime Minister that only earns EUR 1400 per month.
And what do you accuse me? The publication of real audio tapes? @bild
— Peter Tiede (@PeterTiede) June 25, 2019
Tiede responded to Rama’s Twitter announcement by questioning what he was accused of, “The publication of real audio tapes?”
I will sue Rama if he does not stop talking that bullshit about BILD and me. That's the worst slander – but he can not help it. Who is in the shit, also throws with shit.
— Peter Tiede (@PeterTiede) July 17, 2019
He later said that he should be the one suing Rama for his abusive words about him and Bild, “if I was such a mimosa as him”. A mimosa is a delicate little flower usually found in shades of pink or yellow.
He concluded by saying “Who is in the shit, also throws the shit”.
Rama’s legal action against Tiede has been widely condemned by international media freedom organisations who said that Rama “has a peculiar understanding of democracy and human rights” and called for him to drop the charges.
It seems that Rama’s attempt at intimidating BILD and Tiede has had little impact on them as they do not appear to be taking the threat of legal action seriously.
In fact, rumours are now circulating that new wiretaps will be published by Bild in September.