From: Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Socialist Prefect of Kukes Cleared of Vote Buying

The Prosecution and Court in Kukes have dropped an investigation into Liman Morina, the Prefect of Kukes for alleged involvement in vote buying in the 2017 general elections.

In June 2017, a citizen reported that Morina had given him 30,000 ALL (€250) if him and six members of his family voted for the Socialist Party. The citizen provided audio recordings of a conversation between him and Morina regarding “paying for the votes”.

Despite this damning evidence, the Kukes Prosecution said there was in fact no evidence and the court upheld this and dismissed the case.

The case was presided over by Judge Alma Ahmeti who is the wife of the Chief of the Traffic Police in Tirana. She decided to dismiss the charges, despite the audio recordings that were submitted.

The citizen who made the allegations said that Morina, via a third party had asked for his father’s number. The third party then gave Morina’s number to  him and he phoned him to ask why he was wanting to speak to his father.

During the conversation, it is alleged that Morina asked to meet at a local bar. At this meeting, the citizen said that Morina asked how many voters there were in his family, to which he replied six. Morina then told him “you have them in the fridge, take it and vote for Socialist Party No.2”. When the citizen went to the fridge, he found six amounts of 5,000 ALL, totalling 30,000 ALL. He took the money and then went to the police station to make a report.

The citizen also submitted an audio recording to the police which he had recorded on his phone during the conversation.

The court decision stated that the audio recording was not sufficient evidence as it could not be heard clearly and transcribed.

Morina admitted that he said “go to the fridge and get them”  but claims that he was talking to the waiter and asked him to get his car keys.