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Home / FEATURED / Elected MEP Fredi Beleri remains in prison, Albanian court rules

Elected MEP Fredi Beleri remains in prison, Albanian court rules

A court of appeals in Tirana on Tuesday rejected an appeal by Fredi Beleri, the mayor-elect of the ethnic Greek city of Himare and an elected MEP with New Democracy for Greece.

Under the court’s ruling, Beleri will have to stay in prison until October, following his conviction earlier this year for buying votes in last May’s local elections in Albania, charges he – and Athens – believe are politically motivated and entirely spurious.

Beleri, who says his case is false and politically motivated, anticipated this outcome, as he told POLITICO in an interview from prison before Tuesday’s decision.

“I don’t expect the judicial outcome will be just,” he said, arguing that the judge in his case is a political appointee, and predicting that his file will wind up with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

In past statements to other media, Beleri had said “I know that the Albanian judicial system is controlled by Edi Rama.”

The Beleri affair has caused a considerable strain in relations between neighbors Greece and Albania.

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