Court Clears PD Leader Basha of Failing to Report Party Financial Statements

Tirana District Court dismissed today all charges against Lulzim Basha, the leader of the opposition Democratic Party (PD), and two other high ranking party officials, who were accused for failing to properly file party’s revenues and expenditures statements.

Tirana prosecutors investigated for more than two years over a $500 thousand payment for the American lobbyist Nick Muzin, which had declared in his FARA registration that the payment was made on behalf of the Democratic Party of Albania.

Mr. Basha and PD officials rejected any claim that this money had been raised and been paid by the party, maintaining that funds were raised and paid in the US by supporters of the PD.

Investigation of the leader of the opposition has been controversial from the outset due to a fake investigation published in the American Mother Jones, at the height of the Mueller investigation, which tried to link the money paid by the PD for a photo op of Mr. Basha with President Trump to Russian sources. Such allegations proved to be false by both the American and Albanian investigators. As a result, Mr. Basha and two high party officials were charged by the prosecutors for an administrative offence of failing to properly report party expenditures.