Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

4 Albanian government agents arrested over clashes

4 Albanian government agents arrested over clashes

Four government security agents in Albania were arrested Saturday in connection with the deaths of four people during an anti-government demonstration in the capital last month, police said.
Two other officers from the Guard of the Republic _ which protects government institutions and officials _ were arrested earlier this week, accused as the main suspects in the shooting deaths during clashes with security forces in Tirana on Jan. 21. About 150 people, including police officers and government security officers, were injured.
The opposition Socialists are demanding that conservative Prime Minister Sali Berisha call elections over allegations of corruption and vote rigging in the 2009 election. Berisha has refused to resign, accusing the opposition of trying to stage a coup.
Tensions rose sharply last month when the country's deputy prime minister, Ilir Meta, resigned amid allegations he tried to influence a state tender for a hydropower station. Meta leader of the Socialist Movement for Integration which is part of the governing coalition, denies any wrongdoing, saying a video of the alleged incident was fabricated by the opposition.
The prosecutor general's office announced Saturday that it has asked parliament to lift parliamentary immunity for Meta, as well as Dritan Prifti, a former economy minister who broadcast the video.
The parliament needs to vote on lifting immunity before prosecutors can proceed with the investigation.
Albania's parliament discussed last month's deadly clashes in a tumultuous session Thursday, during which lawmakers came to blows.
In a joint statement, the U.S. Embassy and European Union expressed their deep concern at the "highly inappropriate manner" in which lawmakers conducted themselves and tried to urge them to start a dialogue.
European and U.S. officials have repeatedly called for restraint from both opposition Socialists and governing Democrats, and have pressed for a compromise to resolve the crisis.
Albania, one of Europe's poorest countries and now a NATO member, is seeking to join the European Union, but the 27-nation bloc has demanded the Balkan country of 3.2 million people root out corruption.


Updated : 2021-10-28 12:27 GMT+08:00