The incinerator businessmen issued proxies while they were wanted internationally
The first hearing for the case in charge of the accused for the Elbasan incinerator affair failed to take place on Thursday, March 30, 2023, as it was not possible to find and notify the defendant Jonida Zeqo, who is under the measure of personal security "arrest in home".
The relator of the case, judge Elsa Ulliri, made it her duty to accompany the defendants under the security measure "house arrest" to the next session. The court left the task of notifying the lawyer of the defendant Etleva Kondi, for whom the latter explained in the session that she had chosen him recently, but he was out of the country on Thursday.
Also, Ulliri asked to request information from the Interpol Tirana office if international search warrants have been executed for the defendants Mirel Mërtiri, Stela Gugallja and Klodian Zoto, the three businessmen accused of corrupting high-level officials and laundering money . In conclusion, the court decided to adjourn the session to April 7 at 14:30 and the following sessions starting from April 20, every Thursday at 09:00.
In Thursday's session, among the defendants and lawyers present were also the legal representatives of those declared internationally wanted, Mirel Mërtiri, Stela Gugallja and Klodian Zoto. Mërtiri and Zoto are on the run, while Gugallja has been in the process of extradition from an Austrian court in Vienna, Austria, for about two months.
From what was revealed by Judge Ulliri at the beginning of the session, the three defendant businessmen have issued special prosecutors for their legal representatives in November 2022, when they were wanted. Zoto and Gugallja were declared wanted from December 2021 and Mërtiri later, however they were able to appear before the notaries and issue special powers of attorney to defend themselves in the trial process initiated by SPAK.
SPAK sent the case for the Elbasan incinerator to trial in December 2022, charging former minister Lefter Koka and former deputy Alqi Blako, both arrested. They did not appear at the first hearing of the trial on Thursday, informing the court that they would be represented by their lawyers, who were present.
According to the indictment, government officials awarded a concession through unannounced procurement using a procurement method not provided for in public procurement legislation. The officials who participated in the proceedings, Etleva Kondi, Jonida Zeqo, Pëllumb Abeshi, Bardhul Çabiri and Serafin Papa, are under the charge of abuse of office, while former minister Koka is under triple accusation of abuse of office, passive corruption and money laundering.
Bllako akuzohet për shpërdorim detyre në aferën e inceneratorit të Elbasanit, ndërkohë që ai është marrë i pandehur edhe për falsifikim të të dhënave për tokën mbi të cilën është ndërtuar inceneratori i Fierit, duke i ndryshuar kartelën nga “tokë arë” në “tokë truall”. Ish-deputeti i PS-së akuzohet gjithashtu se ka përfituar padrejtësisht me anë të punësimit të babait të tij, Edmond Bllako, pranë kompanisë koncesionare “Integrated Energy BV SPV” të inceneratorit të Tiranës.
Qeveria e kryeministrit Edi Rama ka dhënë tre kontrata koncesionare për ndërtimin e inceneratorëve në Elbasan, Fier dhe Tiranë, te një grup kompanish të lidhura me njëra-tjetrën, nën pronësinë e personave pa eksperiencë të mëparshme në këtë fushë.
The prosecution says that the two Elbasan incinerator companies have paid about 329 million lek (approximately 3 million euros) in invoices for unfinished work, a scheme through which it is suspected that Lefter Koka has benefited from corruption money./ BIRN