Ex-Minister of the Interior Saimir Tahiri, who was investigated and then acquitted for charges of drug trafficking, has hired a US reputation manager to clear his name with the “political and intelligence community in the United States.”
The company Stone Strategic Solutions which was reportedly engaged by Tahiri and was communicated to the US Department of Justice, based on provisions of the Foreign Agent Registration Act. Reports on such forms of lobbying are mandatory in the US.
According to the documents registered with the government, the company has been hired to assist him in “communicating with members of the United States Congress, the State Department, the Department of Justice and the Intelligence community regarding his resignation from government and issues that relate to his legal battle in Albania”.
The documents also state that the company will be working to counter “campaigns of false information and false allegations in the media, targeted at Tahiri.”
Exit is not aware of any pending cases from Tahiri against any media platform for defamation or libel.
The company was hired by Tahiri on 14 of January 2020 for a three month period, with an option to extend. The value of this contract is €20,000, about 18 months of salary during his ministerial role. Tahiri is believed to have been unemployed since March 2017.
Albania’s Serious Crimes Court found Tahiri guilty of abuse of office on 20 September 2019 but did not find him guilty of drug trafficking. He was sentenced to five years in prison which was converted to three years and four months probation, but he appealed the court verdict.