ALBANIA’S FORMER TOP PROSECUTOR ARRESTED IN ITALY ON CORRUPTION CHARGES

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A former Albania chief prosecutor Adriatik Llalla was arrested for corruption while on the run from authorities in Italy.

Adriatik was convicted in October, 2021 of hiding money from illegally owned properties and sentenced to two years in prison. He served as Albania’s prosecutor general from 2012 to 2017, left the country after the court found him guilty of falsely declaring his assets.

The Albanian authorities said Adriatik’s whereabouts and arrest was made possible after communication with Interpol authorities in Italy. They said that they will now begin proceedings to extradite the former prosecutor.

Adriatik was originally convicted in May, 2021 and sentenced by an Albanian court that handles top officials’ corruption cases. He had failed to justify how he had financed the purchase of 5.4 acres of land and a new apartment, as well as his family’s expenses in the United States and Germany.

The Court, in October, 2021, rejected his appeal and upheld the verdict adding that Adriatik had committed the penal crime and should be held accountable.

Adriatik’s lawyer had asked for the sentence to be suspended for health reasons, but the request was denied, and an international arrest warrant was issued.

The court confiscated Adriatik’s property and barred him from holding any public post for five years. Adriatik resigned from his role as Albania’s most senior prosecutor in December 2017.

Corruption has been an issue in Albania with senior officials who have long plagued the country’s democratic, economic and social development. A number of judges and prosecutors have been dismissed for alleged corruption and illegally acquiring property and money.

Adriatik was the first high-ranking person to be sentenced by newly formed judicial institutions that were established to address the issue.

The war on graft is global. In Kenya, since the President declared war on graft, we have witnessed corrupt senior government officials being exposed and forced to resign and taken to court. It is upon the Judiciary to ensure that citizens get to see that the perpetrators are brought to book by serving jail term so as to serve as an example and prevent loss of public funds.

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