The Greek Foreign Ministry reacted after the court in Vlora today ordered the detention of the candidate for mayor of the local elections in Albania Fredi Belleri , who is of Greek origin, the Greek and Albanian media reported.
Belleri, who is the candidate of the Albanian opposition coalition We Win Together for the southern Albanian town of Himara, was arrested yesterday on charges of “complicity in active corrupt activities” during the election campaign. He was released, then detained again before the measure of remand was set for him, notes ANA-MPA.
“Today’s decision of the court in Vlora, if the evidence is not irrefutable, is scandalous. The arrest of a candidate for mayor of a municipality two days before the elections does not represent the rule of law. The decision to retain the candidate for municipal mayor contributes to a complete reversal of the rules of equality in municipal elections in Himara, the most important center of the Greek national minority in Albania,” the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Greek Ministry adds that “such a decision will also affect the relations of the European Union with Albania, since the condition for this European path (of Albania) is adherence to the rules and principles of the rule of law by the candidate countries.” Decisions such as today’s, which violate the above principles, mean that in practice Albania is not following the European path,” the ministry said.
Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Jachka responded to the Greek Foreign Ministry’s statements by tweeting that it was almost impossible to understand how the friends of the Albanians, the Greeks, had the right to challenge a court decision in Albania, given the hard evidence. , “that Freddy Belleri was caught committing criminal activity against free and fair elections.”
“We do not understand how being part of the Greek national minority exempts him from responsibility before the law as a citizen of Albania. We call on our Greek friends to refrain from making statements that disrespect the independent institutions of our country,” the Albanian foreign minister wrote.