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Minister Peleshi calls the "McGonigal" case ridiculous
The Minister of Defense, Niko Peleshi, faced on Tuesday in the Security Committee of the Parliament questions from the opposition deputies about the "McGonigal" case, where a former high official of the FBI is accused of undeclared benefits, trips and meetings in Albania, including also those with Prime Minister Edi Rama.
Peleshi used terms like "storm in a glass" and "ridiculous" when commenting on the scandal that has grabbed the headlines of the world media and the accusations against Charles McGonigal.
Asked by deputy Ervin Salianji if the American officials had asked him for a "guarantee for the stability of the country in case Rama falls", the minister replied that the institutions he met with in the USA "are very serious" and "do not consume such stale politics".
"The things that we raised here as a storm in a glass and soap bubbles, I assure you that across the ocean looked ridiculous," said Peleshi, referring to his visit to the US a few days ago where he was also received at the Pentagon by the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin III.
According to him, the visit was related to strengthening cooperation against cyber attacks.
"With the storm in the glass and the sandcastles, we didn't have time to talk," Pelesi further told MPs, adding that the McGonigal issue was not even raised as a question in the interviews he gave to the media.
Salianji called the minister's statements unrelated to reality, referring to the world media that had paid attention to the scandal. Pelesi asked the opposition MPs not to speculate.
"Someone is charged in America for not declaring meetings or income, here you call it corruption for a person who is not charged at all," he said.
To MP Ferdinand Xhaferri's question whether he had met with the former FBI official during his visits to Albania, Peleshi answered 'no', but added that it would not be a sin if he had met him.
The chairman of the commission, Nasip Naço, tried several times to stop the channeling of the debate on the "McGonigal" case, demanding that the meeting stick to the agenda, but the opposition insisted that this was a matter related to national security. Son