08 Sep 15
Albania MP Resigns Over His Criminal Past
Arben Ndoka, the Socialist MP whose past conviction for human trafficking was revealed by the opposition in 2014, has resigned but maintains his innocence of the charges.
|Sequence from the leaked surveilance video showing the poment when Ndreu hits with his palm the head of Strazimiri.|
Ndoka, 41, delivered his resignation on Monday, hours after another MP from the Socialist Party had his immunity lifted after being arrested on Saturday.
In the resignation letter, Ndoka claimed that he was wrongly sentenced in Italy and that he was innocent of charges of trafficking.
“I don’t want to leave you while you are thinking that I am a criminal who deserved that heavy sentence,” Ndoka said in the letter sent to his fellow MPs, adding that he hopes that one day the courts in Italy will clear him.
Ndoka was convicted in 2003 in Rome of trafficking a woman who was his brother’s fiancé. He was jailed for seven years and six months but was transferred to a prison in Albania where courts cut his sentence and he was free within less than three years.
In his letter, Ndoka claimed that the fiancé of his brother, who denounced him as trafficker to the Italian police, staged her kidnapping and that her allegations were untrue.
After regaining his freedom in August 2005, he reinvented himself as a successful business manager of a network of coffee shops while following studies in Law.
He also opened an aluminum trade company and worked as a director in the national police curbing illegal construction.
He was elected an MP on the Socialist Party ticket in 2013.
Following his exposure as a convicted felon in 2014, Ndoka assaulted Genc Strazimiri, the opposition MP who made his conviction public. He was cleared later by the High Court of charges brought by Strazimiri.
The High Court claimed that it was unable to judge the assault since the event occurred within parliament and as such had to be judged by the parliament.
Albania parties are under pressure from the international community to clean their ranks from criminals. Both parties deny having any.
However the ruling centre-left coalition had lost four MPs during the last two years as a result of criminal charges.
Tom Doshi was thrown out of the Socialist Party and is now an independent MP after he accused the Speaker of the Parliament Ilir Meta of plotting his murder. He was later charged with making fake allegations.
Mark Frroku was jailed after it was revealed that Belgian courts wanted him to face charges for a murder in 1999 related also to human trafficking.
Armando Prenga was arrested last Saturday by police in his hometown of Lac, 40 km north of Tirana, accused of firing a pistol and injuring Tom Cali, a fisherman, during a brawl.
All the MPs were considered instrumental in securing the leftwing coalition its landslide victory in the 2013 general elections.