Prime Minister Edi Rama was on television show Opinion last night where he faced questions and engaged in debate with a panel of journalists. When facing questioning from journalist Klodiana Lala over a photograph showing him meeting with known criminal Ardian Capja, he became threatening and told her to shut up.
An excerpt of the conversation is as follows:
Lala: Were you concerned when you saw this photo?
Rama: The police have its own job, I have mine…
Lala: Did the OFL girl with sunglasses [[special anti-crime police force spokeswoman] girl] go there [to the ex-convict’s hotel where Rama stayed]?
Rama: Don’t go into that now, I see that you are totally ignorant about this field.
Lala: Don’t try to intimidate me Mr Prime Minister, I went to school for this kind of work.
Rama: I complained of Mark Marku (a journalism professor) but this woman is…what is this woman, man?
Lala: Mr Prime Minister, will you answer the question?
Rama: I will respond but you must shut up!
According to the OFL, Capja is suspected of a number of murders in the city of Elbasan and in June 2016 he also fired a gun at the police. He is believed to have carried out various revenge murders and paid “hits” between 2009 and 2016.
Rama: I speak facts…
Artan Hoxha: Well, this is a fact.
Rama: Have you been taking anything [drugs] or are you sober?
Lala: The Prime Minister is here…
Rama: You shut up, you shut up! Shhh!
Lala: The Prime Minister is here to talk about the crime world bosses, most of whom were released during Mr Rama’s rule. Lulzim Berisha was released with the blessing of one of the Socialist Party Presidency members [former Durres Mayor Vangjush Dako provided Berisha with a work contract in the municipality]
Rama: Aren’t you ashamed? I’m here to answer questions not to listen to your rubbish.
Lala: I am speaking facts. I will apologize in public if you are able to show he was not released with Vangjush Dako’s blessing.
Rama: I am not here to debate you. I am here to talk to the public. You came here to tease the public opinion with your stupid nonsense.
But Lala was not the only journalist to be on the sharp end of the Prime Minister’s tongue during the show.
Ervis Iliazaj : Government legal changes put the burden of proof on those whom it accuses […]
Rama: Listen here you… I have absolutely no clue who you are…
Iliazaj: I am not here because I know you, I am here because I was invited by the show host.
Rama: I was hoping you would be intelligent. The burden of proof stays with the accused when he is a mafia boss or terrorist.
Iliazaj: This has become the governing philosophy now.
Rama: [Speaking to the show host] Where do you find these people? Where do you find them? Where do you find them? [Back to journalist Iliazaj] Will you improve your level or not?
Iliazaj: It’s not on you to certify my level [of knowledge].