Albanian Official to Sue Italian TV for Defamation Over Refugee Deal Report

Albanian official Engjëll Agaçi accused of ties to organized crime, plans to sue Italian TV for defamation over report on Italy-Albania refugee deal, raising concerns about transparency and integrity of the agreement.

Rafia Tasleem
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Albanian Official to Sue Italian TV for Defamation Over Refugee Deal Report

Albanian Official to Sue Italian TV for Defamation Over Refugee Deal Report

Engjëll Agaçi, the Secretary General of the Council of Ministers in Albania, is set to take legal action against the Italian TV program RAI 3 for defamation after being labeled a key figure in the Italy-Albania refugee deal and a former lawyer of drug traffickers in an investigative report.

The report by journalist Giorgio Mottola on the 'Report' program raises concerns about the economic aspects of the refugee deal between Italy and Albania, suggesting the costs could reach around 1 billion euros over 5 years without addressing the migrant issue. It also alleges that Agaçi, who was present during the discussions between Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, has previously represented some of the leading Albanian mafia bosses in Italy.

According to the report, Agaçi was involved in a legal controversy in 2016 related to the easy extradition and reduced sentences of Albanian mafia bosses in Italy. The former head of Interpol in Albania is quoted stating that Agaçi had acquainted him with a major Albanian trafficker. Agaçi, who holds a central position in the Rama government, is also accused of being a consultant to the Head of Interpol, General Fabrizio Lisi, in a case involving a property operation and drug traffickers.

Agaçi has denied the allegations, stating that he left his legal position 10 years ago and will file a defamation lawsuit against the Italian TV program for tarnishing his reputation. The report has sparked criticism from journalist Klodian Tomorri, who accused Prime Minister Edi Rama and Agaçi of trying to avoid the journalists and the critical reporting.

Why this matters: The allegations against a high-ranking Albanian official in the context of the Italy-Albania refugee deal raise questions about the integrity and transparency of the agreement. The potential involvement of individuals with alleged ties to organized crime in such a significant international deal underscores the need for thorough scrutiny and accountability.

The RAI 3 report also highlighted that Albania is considered the most corrupt country in Europe according to Transparency International. A former Italian prosecutor appointed as an adviser to Prime Minister Edi Rama claimed that he was never consulted despite the significant work to be done in tackling organized crime and corruption in Albania. As Engjëll Agaçi moves forward with the defamation lawsuit against the

Key Takeaways

  • Albanian official Engjëll Agaçi to sue Italian TV for defamation over refugee deal report.
  • Report alleges Agaçi has ties to Albanian mafia and represented drug traffickers in Italy.
  • Refugee deal between Italy and Albania criticized for high costs and lack of migrant solutions.
  • Albania ranked most corrupt country in Europe, with concerns over organized crime influence.
  • Agaçi denies allegations, claims he left legal practice 10 years ago, will file lawsuit.