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HomeEuropeEthnic Greek mayor unable to attend swearing-in ceremony in Himare

Ethnic Greek mayor unable to attend swearing-in ceremony in Himare

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The swearing-in ceremony for the elected mayor of Himare in Albania, Fredi Beleri, is scheduled for Tuesday but cannot take place while he still remains in custody.

According to Albanian legislation a deputy mayor, appointed by a council of ministers controlled by the ruling Socialist Party, will have to take office.

This means he will be a supporter of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who will run the municipality of Himare until further notice.

As stipulated by Albanian law, the investigation and interrogation regarding the case of Beleri, who was arrested last month a couple of days before municipal elections, is ongoing until the file is completed and his case takes the judicial route.

An Albanian prosecutor has cited a “criminal precedent” regarding the non-release of Beleri. In particular, he said that Beleri had been penalized in 2003 for “insulting the symbols of Albania,” and that he had left the country and only returned when the statute of limitations expired.

Beleri’s appeal to have his pre-trial detention lifted was again rejected last week and it was announced that he would appeal to the Supreme Court with the same request.

The rejection of the request for release “directly impedes his swearing-in and raises deep concerns about the real objectives behind his prosecution,” the Greek Foreign Ministry said.

Source : Ekathimerini

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