From: Exit Staff
Opposition Publishes Criminal Record of Fourth Socialist Mayor

The Democratic Party (PD) today released documents allegedly showing Mayor of Mallakastër Qerim Ismailaj’s criminal conviction in Greece.

PD Secretary General Gazment Bardhi presented a copy of the Greek-language document to the media, explaining that it showed a court verdict of a 3-year prison sentence for Qerim Ismailaj, on February 25, 2000.

Bardhi stated Ismailaj was convicted on charges of violent crimes and inflicting injuries, but did not serve his sentence because he escaped Greece.

Ismailaj failed to declare any sentence in the decriminalization form, as required by law. The PD had earlier asked the prosecution to investigate the mayor’s past.

If the allegations are confirmed by the prosecution, Mayor Ismailaj will have to leave his post and be prosecuted for the criminal charge of failing to declare his sentence,

Following the opposition allegation this week, Ismailaj vehemently denied had denied it: “I have not been detained by the Greek police, in any single case, absolutely not!”

However, upon publication of the alleged court decision on Friday, the mayor said he was surprised by it and that he didn’t know its existence.

Ismailaj is the fourth Socialist Mayor to face allegations of the same kind, following the one party June 2019 elections. In August 2019, the Mayor-elect of Shkodra, Valdrin Pjetri resigned after the opposition published an Italian conviction for drug dealing. At the beginning of January, the prosecutor’s office launched criminal proceedings against him for falsifying information on his decriminalization form.

In September, the PD asked prosecutors to investigate Mayor of Vau i Dejes, Mark Babani for lying on his decriminalization form. They published documents that allegedly showed Babani’s arrest in Italy for stealing cars.

Then in November, following claims made by the opposition, the Central Election Commission dismissed Mayor of Vora Agim Kajmaku after prosecutors confirmed he omitted his criminal past on his decriminalization form. Following an arrest warrant, Kajmaku is apparently “on the run” and the authorities are unable to locate him.