Top ex-Albanian official arrested on suspicion of corruption

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police say that a former head of the prison department has been arrested on suspicion of corruption.

Authorities announced the arrest of Arben Cuko in a statement on Sunday.

Cuko, who previously was head of the National Guard and also is an ex-lawmaker of the governing Socialist Party, was fired in September as prisons chief after little more than a year in the post.

Prime Minister Edi Rama, who is also Socialist Party leader, tweeted that he was "sorry for A. Cuko but for us there is no double standard when referring to the law."

Albania hopes to launch negotiations next year to join the European Union, and fighting corruption is one of the key areas that the country needs to work on before those talks can begin.