Yesterday, the first hearing against the Habilaj criminal organization was held in the Catania Court, Italy. According to the Italian news outlet MeridioNews, Nezar Seiti, the Habilajs’ “financier” will not be part of this trial. The reasons for this have yet to be made public.
Nezar Seiti was arrested during an Albanian police operation in Babica, Vlora, where 4.5 tonnes of cannabis were seized. Seiti admitted his connections to the Habilaj brothers, but labelled them as family connections. He refused to speak about the accusations of collaborating in drug trafficking.
Despite the Court of Serious Crimes ruling, four prosecutors and judges decided for Seiti’s extradition, ignoring the fact that he was under investigation from the Serious Crimes Prosecution Office at the time.
During yesterday’s hearing, transcriptions of the defendants’ interrogations by two Albanian Serious Crimes prosecutors were also presented.
The 14 defendants, excluding Italian Vincenzo Spampinato, requested reduced sentences. The ruling on whether or not the request, which would reduce the defendants’ sentences by a third, will be accepted will be announced on September 26, 2018.