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Former head of ČEZ probed after political law suits

Published

October 21, 2015

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Published:

October 21, 2015

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The state prosecution has launched an investigation to determine the role of Arben Seferi, former chief executive of ČEZ Albania sh. a., Czech state-run company which used to control power distribution in Albania from 2009 to 2012, and two other people. Portal Albeu reported the Supreme State Audit (KLSH) had earlier filed a law suit against the three for abuse of office in 2014 and 2013, resulting in financial damage of EUR 32.04 million suffered by electricity distribution network operator Oshee sh. a., and EUR 5.63 million of state income.

Prime minister Edi Rama pledged to request international expertise on the events that led to the termination of the contract with ČEZ. On October 8 he stated that the government asked the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation for help in the ČEZ affair. The opposition Democratic Party of Albania demanded from the national parliament to start an international inquiry, claiming the government is „trying to hide EUR 600 million.”

On October 14, KLSH said it filed a suit against energy minister Damian Gjiknuri and state attorney Alma Hicka. The auditors stated that an amicable agreement the two officials made in June of last year with the Czech Republic has caused a EUR 479 million damage, while they should have pursued international arbitration. Fee for the negotiation of the agreement was EUR 95 million, financial liability coming from mismanagement timeframe is EUR 352 million, and there is EUR 32 million from the depreciation of 24% of state’s shares, the report said. Gjiknuri denied the allegations as politically inspired, stressing the alternative would have been to block foreign investment. The government claims it managed to avoid even greater expences with the move.

 

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