Former Albanian prosecutor general accused of corruption

Albanian prosecutors have charged a former prosecutor-general with hiding illegally owned property

TIRANA, Albania -- Albanian prosecutors on Monday charged the country's former top prosecutor with hiding illegally owned property.

A statement from the Special Prosecution Against Corruption and Organized Crime, or SPAK, said that following an investigation, Adriatik Llalla has been charged with not declaring and hiding property. The case will be sent to the court to proceed.

Llalla, who left office as Albania's top prosecutor in December 2017, was investigated for corruption connected to the illegal purchase of real estate assets during his term in office.

In 2018 prosecutors sequestered Llalla’s apartment in the capital, Tirana, and just over two hectares (5.4 acres) of land belonging to Llalla, with a total value of more than 98 million leks ($906,000).

In the same year, Llalla was barred from entering the United States due to his suspected involvement in corruption.

It is not clear where Llalla is as his family lives abroad and he has regularly been out of the country.

If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison.

This is SPAK’s first case against a top public official.

A judicial reform, approved in 2016, created new institutions like SPAK and they are holding a vetting process that so far has fired some 100 sitting judges and prosecutors, out of a total of 800, because they could not prove that all their property had been acquired legitimately or that they had met anti-corruption and professional standards throughout their careers.