From: the Editors
Justice at the Service of Mark Frroku

Two weeks ago, the Fier Court decided to grant parole to former MP Mark Frroku, after 3 years and 23 days in prison, as he has been “rehabilitated entirely.”

Judge Matilda Shalla ruled that the former MP has been well-behaved during his stay in prison and “has been rehabilitated entirely.” Therefore, she argued, “his release would bring no negative social consequences.”

The Fier Prosecution Office found this ruling unacceptable and based on insufficient evidence. According to the Prosecution Office, Frroku does not fulfill the conditions and does not fall under “special circumstances” to be granted parole, as his situation is shared by many other convicts.

The Fier Prosecution Office stated that it will appeal the Court’s ruling as “it was not proved that the convict Mark Frroku was indispensable to his family’s survival and his release would bring no significant change in his family’s situation.”

Mark Frroku was convicted in April 2017 by the First Instance Court of Tirana to 7 years and 6 months in prison for “concealing his wealth”, ”money laundering,” and “unlawful construction.”

In January 2018, following a Tirana Appeals Court ruling that reduced his prison sentence from 7 years and 6 months to 6 years, Mark Frroku filed a parole request at the Fier Court. In it, Frroku argued that he was entitled to parole after carrying out half of his sentence, and gave personal reasons like his “sick spouse,” “elderly parents,” and “owning business shares.”

The Fier Court’s ruling comes at a time when

  • Mark Frroku has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Serious Crimes Court of Nivelles, Belgium for the murder of Aleksandër Kurti in 1999, after a clash between prostitution gangs.
  • On March 30, 2018, the European Court of Human Rights dismissed his complaint that the Belgian court’s process had lasted more than it should, leaving, thus, in force, the conviction for “premeditated murder in collaboration.”

This is not the first time that the Albanian courts and government defend Mark Frroku from his murder conviction in Belgium and other criminal charges in Albania.

In 2017, the Court of Serious Crimes ruled him innocent for the murder of the Albanian citizen in Belgium, for lack of sufficient evidence, even though the General Prosecution requested a 25 year prison sentence.

In January 2015, Interpol Tirana kept the international warrant for Frroku’s arrest that arrived from Belgium hidden for two months.

On March 18, 2015, the media published a report from nine police officers stating that on October 1, 2014, Frroku had hidden Bardhok Pllanaj, wanted for drug trafficking, in his car:

According to the report of the Police officers, they were chasing a car where, it was suspected, the wanted person was hidden. However, “the passenger-side back window opened and a 40–45 year old man, wearing a dark blue suit, introduced himself as member of the Albanian parliament Mark Frroku. After being recognized by us, he also clarified, among other things, that:

The vehicle can only be inspected with a Parliament decision, as I am an MP, and the vehicle is owned by me.”

Despite the fact that the police officers notified their superior, Frroku faced no penalty and continued being an MP.

On March 30, 2015, the Albanian Ministry of Justice let the Belgian authorities know that it couldn’t extradite Mark Frroku. However, the Ministry added that the Prosecution had decided to prosecute him in Albania, and requested the necessary documentation.

On April 2, 2015, the Prosecution arrested Mark Frroku for the murder in Belgium, and in September 2015, the Prosecution dismissed Frroku’s request to be present in the trial that would take place in Belgium on October 19, 2015 as he was being tried in Albania for being involved in Doshi-Meta case.

On April 22, 2017, Mark Frroku was cleared of the Belgium incident accusations for lack of evidence by the Court of Serious Crimes. He immediately allied himself with the Socialist Party. His party released a press statement declaring:

We, the Christian-Democratic Party, make the public opinion aware of the fact that we have been, are, and will continue being on the side of the government and the governing coalition of the Alliance for European Albania [led by the PS].

True Demo-christians can easily discern between those who will do anything to pass the Justice Reform and those who are submerged in crime and corruption where, holding on to a tent, they are doing the impossible to impede the progress of the Justice Reform that will continue making our country proud in the coming decades.

It is worth mentioning that Mark Frroku’s brother, Arben Frroku, has also been arrested, in the Netherlands in 2015, and has been sentenced to life imprisonment in Albania for the murder of police commissioner Dritan Lamaj. Arben Frroku is expected to be extradited in Albania.