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What is going on with the mayor of Himara? The European Commission reacts to the arrest and imprisonment of Fredi Beller
Written by SOT.COM.AL 27 Maj 2023
The European Commission has broken the silence on the issue of the arrest and imprisonment of Fredi Beler, the elected mayor of Himara, accused of vote-buying and arrested just two days before the May 14 local elections.
A spokesman for the Commission told Euronews Albania's Inside Albania author Alice Taylor that they cannot comment on ongoing investigations, but are aware of the situation.
"We continue to follow developments. We cannot comment on the following investigations and we ask that the continuity of the process be ensured," said the spokesperson of the Commission.
As for the local elections, they stated that "cases of misuse of public resources at the national and local level, allegations of pressure on voters and administration employees and in particular vote buying, are disturbing and should be investigated accordingly."
The European Commission added that the political parties should engage in a dialogue and "address all the recommendations of the OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission."
We remind you that Fredi Beleri has denied all the charges against him and has called the arrest "politically motivated", a position that has been supported by the official Athens.
Beleri has been transferred to Tirana, where he continues to remain imprisoned, despite the demands of his legal team to await the conclusion of the investigations and the decision to house arrest due to health problems.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias have condemned the arrest and threatened to block Albania's EU membership process if Beleri is not released. However, the European Commission has not commented on this issue.
The case of Fredi Beller was also reported to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the Council of Foreign Affairs during a meeting in Brussels this Monday.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Edi Rama and Foreign Minister Olta Xhaçka have stated that the issue of Beler's arrest is not political and have requested that the justice bodies do their work without interference and pressure from outside.