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Albania: Lawmaker arrested after Parliament lifts immunity

April 2, 2015

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police on Thursday arrested a Christian Democrat lawmaker suspected of involvement in a murder case in Belgium.

Parliament voted overwhelmingly to lift Mark Frroku’s immunity from prosecution following an international arrest warrant issued for him by Belgian prosecutors.

A Brussels court sentenced Frroku and three other Albanians in absentia to 10-year prison terms in 2010. Frroku has appealed and a new trial is due to start in October.

The vote means Frroku could now be extradited to Belgium. But the two countries have no extradition agreement.

Prosecutors believe that the 1999 murder of Aleksander Kurti, an Albanian living in Brussels, was the result of clashes between gangs involved in prostitution in the Belgian capital.

Frroku denied he had any link to the killing.

He was taken to a police station from his home, where he was already under house arrest since last week after being accused of false testimony in a separate case.

In that case, Frroku has been named by another lawmaker, former Socialist Tom Doshi, as the person who told him about an alleged plot in which Parliament Speaker Ilir Meta, a former prime minister, had paid money to have him and an opposition Democratic Party lawmaker killed.

Frroku has denied making any such claim. Meta has also strenuously denied any intention to have any lawmaker killed.

Both Doshi and Frroku were formally accused of false testimony after a probe found no evidence of an assassination plot.

Update hourly