From: Alice Taylor
Albanian Electiongate Court Case Continues to Stall in Dibra

A court hearing in the notorious election gate scandal involving allegations of threatening voters in favour of the Socialist Party in Dibra in the 2016 general election has been postponed for the fourth time as the defendant’s lawyer, Gentian Rumano, did not turn up.

The election gate scandal involved the leak and publication of wiretaps purporting to show evidence of collusion to buy votes and threaten voters in Dibra and Durres during the 2016 general elections. They included high-ranking government officials, many of whom are still in office, low-level officials and criminals.

File 184 relates to Dibra, where Drini Gjeci and Nuri Meda have been accused of abusing state duties to threaten voters to vote for a PS candidate in mayoral elections.

Albanian Electiongate: Wiretaps Reveal Collusion Between Crime Boss, Ministers, MPs and Police

Their lawyer, however, did not turn up, thus dragging the case out from February 2021.

The prosecutor requested a two-year suspended prison sentence for each defendant and a two-year ban from holding public positions. In the session being held, the defence must present the final claims before the court gives the decision.

Gjeci is accused of threatening teachers to vote for the PS, while Meda is charged with removing non-PS voters from economic aid recipient lists.

The crimes for which the defendants are accused were committed in September 2016, when early elections were held in the Municipality of Dibër after the dismissal of the former mayor, who was recorded on video asking for sex in exchange for a salary increase from a municipal employee.

Six years later, the prosecution has stopped investigating most of those accused of vote-buying and other election crimes, arguing that these crimes are time-barred. No high-level politicians involved in the case have seen the inside of a courtroom regarding the matter.

A Guide to the Albanian Electiongate And Political Crisis