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Incinerator of Tirana/ "The state machinery has been ready at the service of...", the well-known journalist exposes the violations and favoritism that 'sunk' Taulant Tusha and the 14 accused of SPAK
Written by SOT.COM.AL 11 Dhjetor 2023
Journalist Elton Qyno in a television studio spoke about the abuses with the Tirana incinerator, as he states that the director of the Tirana municipality, Taulant Tusha, was on the commission for granting the concession of the Tirana incinerator, for whom the measure of imprisonment was also decided.
"SPAK initially intervened in the seizure of the company that had won the right to build the Tirana incinerator. This intervention was carried out at the beginning of August, while almost 3 or 4 months later, the arrest of several people was carried out.
There are about 15 people, almost the main people of this incinerator have been arrested in the prison premises, such as Bllako and Koka. While the other persons were either processed in a free state or under house arrest.
On the other hand, we have another personage delegated by Erion Veliaj to this commission of granting the concession, namely Taulant Tusha. In fact, Taulant Tushen has been sentenced to prison.
Taulant Tusha was the delegate of the mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, precisely as a member and as a representative of the municipality of Tirana in the commission for granting the concession of the Tirana incinerator.
Because there was a commission set up with officials or directors of the Ministry of Environment, and at the same time 2 of these directors and members were representatives of the municipality of Tirana.
They have carried out all the relevant administrative and documentary actions regarding the announcement of the winners, and precisely the announcement of the winner, Zoto and Mërtiri have been nominated", said Qyno, among other things.
In Albania, the Special Prosecutor's Office's investigations into the Tirana incinerator, which led to the issuance of 15 arrest warrants, have revealed a series of irregularities in the procedures followed to award the concession to the winning company.
In addition to the legal violations, almost the entire practice was carried out in cooperation with the two entrepreneurs Klodian Zoto and Mirel Mërtiri, the beneficiaries of the concession.
Similar to the cases of Elbasan and Fier, also for the Tirana incinerator, according to the results of the investigations, the state machinery was almost entirely at the service of businessmen Zoto and Mërtiri.
The Prosecution Acts prove that they were the ones who controlled the entire process from beginning to end, while the state officials involved took care to close the procedures without delay, according to the interests of the two entrepreneurs.
In the official announcement, it is noted that "the proposing company "Integrated Energy BV", in which the company "Integrated Technology Services" sh.pk owned by Zoto is a shareholder, was aware of the competitive circumstances before it was announced procedure of granting the concession".
Likewise, this company "has been equipped with the necessary documentation that it had to submit to the Ministry of Environment before and during the concession procedure, in order to declare this company the winner".
Even the concession documents, turn out "to have been drawn up by Zoto's employees, who then sent them to the employees of the Ministry of Environment.
While the cost calculations in the feasibility study, were taken - according to the Special Prosecutor's Office - from the feasibility study of the proposing company "Integrated Energy BV", without performing any verification regarding their authenticity". Something which has led to an inflation of the costs that the municipalities of the Tirana District are forced to pay today.
The connection of the entrepreneurs with the former heads of the Ministry of Environment, Minister Lefter Koka and the general secretary at that time, Alqi Blako, seems to have been so strong that the latter were not even worried about the fact that the company "Integrated Energy BV", based in the Netherlands, was not registered as a subject in the National Business Center, as required by law.
Although this fact was pointed out to the Ministry of the Environment by the then Minister of State for relations with the Parliament, on November 15, 2016, the procedures continued, despite the fact that remarks were also made by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice.
And almost three weeks later on December 7, 2016, the government has approved giving the bonus of 8 percent to an unregistered company.
Moreover, according to the acts of the Prosecutor's Office, the final contract is not related to "Integrated Energy BV", but to "Integrated Energy BV SPV", registered on the day of signing the contract, on August 31, 2017. The investigation
also shows that for For several years in a row, the former minister Koka has had as an external advisor, a former employee of his, who was not paid by the ministry, but who, with the intervention of Mr. Blako, turned out to be fictitiously employed in Zoto's company, where he received the payments monthly.
According to the prosecutor's office, this advisor "served as a "bridge" to provide the authorities with the required documentation related to the concession granting procedure, in order to then make this documentation available to Zoto, so that the latter could complete the necessary acts and for the company "Integrated Energy BV" to be declared the winner".
Moreover, Mr. Blako turns out to have benefited nearly 120,000 euros, in the form of a machine, bought on behalf of his father's company, by the entrepreneur Zoto.
The former socialist deputy has already been convicted in the first degree for the Elbasan incinerator, while he was declared innocent in the case of Fier. But now he will have to face the new charge of corruption in two cases.
The same situation for the two entrepreneurs Zoto and Mërtiri against whom there is a mountain of other charges, as well as the former minister Koka, convicted in two different decisions, and now again with the charge of "Abuse of duty".
An accusation that burdens over 11 other people, most of whom are members of the concession commission. Among them is the former legal director of the Ministry of Environment, Alba Thoma, as well as the General Director of Public Works in the Municipality of Tirana, Taulant Tusha.
1. Lefter Koka, former Minister of the Environment, imprisoned since December 2021 and found guilty and sentenced for the Elbasan and Fier incinerator affair.
2. Alqi Blako, former Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment and former deputy of the Socialist Party, imprisoned since April 2022, found guilty for the Fier incinerator affair and innocent for the Elbasan incinerator affair.
3. Pëllumb Abeshi, former official of the Ministry of Environment, sentenced to imprisonment for the Fier incinerator affair.
4. Mirel Mërtiri, the shadow "boss" of the incinerators, declared wanted and convicted for the Elbasan and Fier incinerator affair.
5. Klodian Zoto, the apparent owner of the Fier incinerator, wanted, convicted for the Elbasan and Fier affair.
6. Erjon Murataj, former official in Fier Municipality, under security measures since the Fier incinerator affair.
New names in the list of persons, against whom the "arrest with prison" measures have been imposed, are:
7. Taulant Tushe, director of infrastructure in the Municipality of Tirana.
8. Namik Simixhiu, former official in the Ministry of Environment
Meanwhile, several former officials, who were also under this measure earlier, have been placed under the security measure of "house arrest".
10. Etleva Kondi, former senior official in the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Infrastructure, against whom a "house arrest" security measure is in effect for the Fier incinerator affair
11. Valbona Ballgjini and Sidita Kola are also part of the Fieri incinerator affair file.
On the other hand, the new names on the "Tirana incinerator" list are Alba Thoma, Sidita Kopliku and Sidita Tola.