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Arrest warrant for Dako, VOA: Rama did not distance himself from him

Arrest warrant for Dako, VOA: Rama did not distance himself from him

In Albania, the Special Prosecutor's Office against Corruption and Organized Crime has reportedly issued an arrest warrant against the former socialist mayor of Durrës Vangjush Dako. It is learned that in addition to him, the Special Prosecutor's Office has requested the arrest of 4 former officials of the Urban Planning Directorate of the Municipality of Durrës, including the former Director Adhurim Qehajaj, as well as the owner of a construction company, Fiqiri Farku, and the company's engineer. House arrest has been requested for three former employees of the Municipality of Durrës.

The suspicions are related to a construction permit granted at the time when Mr. Dako was in charge of the Municipality, for a building which was subsequently damaged by the 2019 earthquake, and also for irregularities in a tender. From the Special Prosecutor's Office, there is still no information about the investigation it has developed and the specific responsibilities of the persons for whom arrest warrants have been issued.

Mr. Dako is a well-known name and one of the figures who has served at the highest levels of the Socialist Party, being a member of its leadership. In 2019, he became the third person from Albania against whom the US State Department imposed an entry ban on him and his family after he was deemed to be involved in major corruption.

Despite this, Prime Minister Edi Rama did not take any public steps to distance himself from him. A few months after the State Department's decision, in the Opinion show on Klan TV, he declared that Dako would always remain his friend.

"Vangjush Dako has been, is and will be my friend. The State Department does not determine who my friend is. It is determined by my morals and conviction. Even if he goes to prison tomorrow, he will be my friend. But with Vangjush Dako, I have never done, nor have I been asked nor have I asked, nor have we cooperated nor have we sought the cooperation of others, any violation of the laws of the Republic of Albania", Prime Minister Rama declared at that time.

The name of Mr. Dako also appeared in several interceptions carried out by the Prosecutor's Office in connection with the 2017 parliamentary elections, where members of a criminal group, the Avduli brothers, were involved in buying votes in favor of the Socialist Party. The wiretapping showed a long-term relationship between them and Mr. Dako, who led the Durrës Municipality from 2007 to 2019. VOA


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