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Gjiknuri's testimony in SPAK is clarified: Zoto booked the hotel room in my name in Vienna without asking me

Gjiknuri's testimony in SPAK is clarified: Zoto booked the hotel room in my

Former minister Damian Gjiknuri denies before SPAK that he benefited from the bosses of the incinerators Mirel Mërtiri and Klodian Zoto or that he traveled with them.

In the testimony he gave a few months ago as part of the investigation against the former Deputy Prime Minister Arben Ahmetaj, after it resulted in trips with the bosses of the incinerators, disclosed by News 24, he admits that he was in their company at the invitation of the former Deputy Prime Minister Arben Ahmetaj.

Regarding a trip to Vienna where it turned out that Klodian Zoto had booked the hotel room on behalf of Gjiknur, the former minister says that the expenses were paid by the Ministry.

 "We were in a delegation for CEZ negotiations, they were in Arbitration, for settlement by agreement. In Vienna, I stayed at the Ambasador hotel, one night together with other members of the delegation, while Arben Ahmetaj stayed in another hotel. Arben Ahmetaj told me if I wanted to come to the hotel where he was staying, specifically the Radisson Hotel, as he was already a friend. I did not accept as I had the room booked at the hotel I mentioned above. We met at dinner, went out and had a few drinks. It was me, Arben Ahmetaj and Mirel Mërtiri and a stranger".

Gjiknuri says he learned the fact that Klodian Zoto had booked on his behalf from the media, but there are doubts that Arben Ahmetaj asked him for this.

 "Later I learned from the information that was made public that a booking was made in my name by Klodian Zoto at the Radisson Blue hotel, but I clarify once again that Klodian Zoto has never spoken to me about this trip and I believe that he will heard from Arben Ahmetaj, who said to reserve a room for me. On these dates that I am asking about, as far as I remember, Arbeni slept at the Radisson, he even told me that he had prepared a room for me as well, while I slept in another hotel with the delegation, the Ambassador Hotel. For this, the Ministry also has the relevant documentation".

Regarding a February 2014 trip, Gjiknuri says that the payments were made by the ministry that Ahmetaj led and he has no knowledge of the details.

 "I also want to explain the trip I made with Arben Ahmetaj and Etien Xhafa in February 2014. On February 8, 2014 we arrived in Frankfurt to stay one night at the Marriot hotel and the next day we traveled to America. Given that this case has been publicized in the media, I am interested in the Ministry to administer the practice of travel. In the practice I found, it was quoted that all expenses were covered by the Ministry of Economy, where Ahmetaj was the minister.

So the day I slept in this hotel, I had no information about who made the payment. There was also my colleague Ahmetaj, who to my knowledge was friends with Klodian Zoto and Klodian (Mirel) Mërtir. I want to clarify that I have never organized a trip with Mirel Mërtir and Klodian Zoto, but it may have happened that we traveled the same route, but it was not planned and their trip had nothing to do with me".

SPAK has accused the former deputy prime minister Ahmetaj of several charges such as corruption, money laundering and concealment of assets.

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