Albania Charges Former Central Bank Governor

A year after a major bank theft was discovered, former governor Ardian Fullani was charged with abuse of office by prosecutors who allege that he bears some responsibility for the crime.

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Albania’s former central bank chief Fullani behind bars | Photo by LSA.

Prosecutors in Albania on Tuesday said they had charged former central bank governor Fullani with dereliction of duty over the theft of some 713 million lek (five million euro) and over the purchase by the bank of a state-owned property in 2010.

Fullani, 60, was arrested on September 2014 but released pending further investigations few weeks later.

His arrest and subsequent and dismissal from the supervisory board of the central bank came after the discovery ast year of the major theft from the bank’s security deposit in Linze, outside the capital, Tirana. Fullani denies any wrongdoing.

Ardian Bitraj, a former employee of the bank, was found found guilty of the theft earlier this year and sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Prosecutors also decided to raise charges against Fullani for failing to prevent the theft.

Apart from the theft, Fullani was charged over the 2010 of Hotel Dajti in Tirana city centre, which was sold by the government to the bank for 4.1 billion leks (about 30 million euro). Prosecutors have not yet made public why they think the sale was suspicious.

Fullani is expected to appear in court soon.

BIRN

29 July 2015