Court Frees Former Socialist MP Arben Çuko from House Arrest

The Serious Crime Court has freed former Socialist Party MP Arben Çuko from house arrest due to lack of evidence against him.

Çuko was arrested on October 21, 2018, on charges of ‘passive corruption’ while he was the General Director of Prisons. He allegedly received bribes from convicts in exchange of permissions to leave prison, transfers to their desired prisons, or improving their conditions.

His possible involvement in criminal activities came out after the prosecution wiretapped phones of the Avdylaj criminal group, who were arrested in October 2018, after the German government pressure on the Albanian government. The Avdylaj gang was also at the center of the Albanian Electiongate, involving high Socialist Party officials colluding with them to rig the 2017 general elections.

Shortly after the arrest, the judicial body headed by Judge Sokol Binaj released Çuko from prison and put him under house arrest.

Yesterday, the Serious Crimes Court freed the former Socialist MP and head of the Albanian prisons from house arrest as well.