Former Interior Minister Tahiri Sentenced for Unrelated Charge, Appeals Court Rules

The Special Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for former Minister of Interior Saimir Tahiri after it concluded that he was convicted of an offense for which he was not charged.

Tahiri was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months in prison for abuse of office. The first instance court converted the controversial sentence to three years in probation, and barred him from exercising public office during this time. 

Prosecutors had demanded 12 year in prison for Tahiri on charges of “international drug trafficking”, participation in a “structured criminal organization”, and “criminal activity under a structured criminal organization.” 

The court dropped all three charges by prosecutors, and sentenced him on a different charge – abuse of office.

The Special Court of Appeals argued that the court of first instance violated the Code of Criminal Procedure by sentencing him on a different charge, on which he was not investigated.

It also argued that the ruling of the Italian Court of Catania to dismiss an investigation against Tahiri cannot be used as evidence during the trial in Albania.

Tahiri’s relatives and alleged collaborators were sentenced in Italy.