Europe

Albanian ex-minister targeted in corruption case

  • 24 February 2011
  • From the section Europe
Albanian protesters gather under pictures of those killed in the Tirana unrest, 28 January
Image caption Unrest over the case led to clashes in which four people were killed

Parliament in Albania has stripped a former economy minister, accused of a corrupt deal to build a power station, of his immunity from prosecution.

Dritan Prifti is alleged to have accepted a bribe of nearly $100,000 (£62,000) while in office.

Ilan Meta, a former deputy PM, is already being investigated.

Both men deny any wrongdoing in a scandal which sparked protests in the capital Tirana last month in which four people were shot dead.

Opposition politicians had been demanding the resignation of the government.

Albania has applied for EU candidate status and Brussels has stressed the need for Albania to tackle corruption, as well as fostering a democratic political culture.

Demonstrators also say the government stole elections held in 2009, which Sali Berisha's Democratic Party won by a small margin.

They want a new vote, though none is scheduled until 2013.

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