Albanian deputy PM quits amid corruption accusations

Albanian Deputy Prime Minister Ilir Meta said, he intended to fight against corruption charges made by his former ally and ex-economy minister, Dritan Prifti.

Albanian deputy PM quits amid corruption accusations

Albanian Deputy Prime Minister Ilir Meta resigned on Friday, saying he intended to fight corruption allegations made by the former economy minister.

"To fight against the accusations made by the monster Dritan Prifti, I resigned from my government jobs," Meta, who also held the post of economy minister, told a news conference.

On Wednesday, Meta relinquished his immunity from prosecution to allow investigators to probe allegations of corruption contained in a conversation filmed by Prifti, a former ally who belongs to the same political party.

Meta's party is the minority coalition partner to the Democratic Party of Prime Minister Sali Berisha and thus key to the European Union applicant government's future stability.

Berisha denounced the video, shown on a local television station, saying it was fabricated by opposition Socialists.

Excerpts from Prifti's videotape show Meta and Prifti talking business. According to the excerpts, Meta asks Prifti to cancel a tender of state-owned Albpetrol to help another company take part and give a hydro-electric plant concession to another company despite an ongoing court review.

Meta dismissed the video as a "fabrication" and an "ugly political and moral bluff". Prosecutors now have the video.


Reuters

Last Mod: 14 Ocak 2011, 15:32
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