Tahiri Trial Delayed a Third Time, Translated Witness Reports Lost

The Serious Crimes Court postponed for the third time the trial session against former Minister of Interior Saimir Tahiri and former Head of Vlora Police Jaeld Çela.

The postponement was justified with the missing translated witness reports given by the Habilaj criminal group members Moisi Habilaj, Nezar Seiti and Meridian Sulaj.

Case prosecutors Dritan Prençi and Vladimir Mara could not find the Albanian language translations in their files during the session, and requested the court to give them time to translate them from Italian language again.

Judges Ardit Mustafaj, Flora Hajredinaj and Irena Gjoka postponed the next court session to June 22.

Tahiri said he was tired of the dragging out of the case and prosecution’s “ridiculous” actions:

“This is the third time the case has been postponed. The first time, mailed documents arrived torn, then people were not notified, and now papers are lost. Even a kindergarten is better organized. This is ridiculous.”

Former Minister of Interior Saimir Tahiri and former Head of Vlora Police Jaeld Çela face charges of participation in a criminal organization and international drug trafficking.

Investigations against Tahiri started in October 2017, following arrests of ringleader Moisi Habilaj and other members of the criminal organization in Catania, Italy.

In February 2019, the Serious Crimes Prosecution concluded investigations and filed charges against Tahiri and other former police chiefs.