Judge Megi Laska of the Tirana Judicial District Court announced yesterday the decision that rejected the lawsuit filed by the former Minister of Interior, Sander Lleshaj against CityNews Albania. About a year and a half ago, Sander Lleshaj was denounced by CNA.al after at the height of the pandemic, in May 2020, for the purchase of a BMW vehicle worth 77.000 euros, ie about 100 million Lek, which Lleshaj claimed he had bought for a smaller amount.
He filed a lawsuit against us saying we had slandered the value of the car, and because we had labeled him a “party captain”. More than a year after the lawsuit of the former minister of Edi Rama, General Sander Lleshaj, who turned into a party general, the court acquitted CityNews Albania.
The verdict contains about 24 pages, of which 20 are almost court reasoning on the facts and evidence presented by the parties. The court clearly gave yesterday a decision against a former minister, who was caught red-handed by CNA.al when he was driving a vehicle with forged license plates, a fact which he didn’t mention it in court.
The license plates of the vehicle and their denunciation was made after it was denounced by CNA.al. So a vehicle bought on behalf of the liaison officer at the Albanian Embassy in Berlin, who then it was made available to Minister Lleshaj for a sum of 50.000 euros without VAT.
Asked on Blendi Fevziu’s show “Opinion”, Lleshaj said that he had bought the car with this value because of the position he held. But, CNA.al never questioned the amount of 50.000 or 60.000 euros, which in fact was probably 20 per cent less than the market value verified in an official BMW store, for the same model in Cologne of Germany.
This could easily be proved by Sander Lleshaj and his people on the official website, where thousands of citizens buy vehicles online. On the other hand, the minister rushed to go to the parliament and insult us by saying that we are slandering, and to make statuses on social networks.
But the fact is that Lleshaj had bought a luxury BMW at the height of the pandemic and after the earthquake on November 26, 2019. So at a time when Albania needed help for families left homeless, or for citizens who had anxiety and panic against the coronavirus and were locked up at home, Sander Lleshaj was buying a luxury car.
At that point, the Prime Minister should have fired him. But, he kept him in office until an event took place, for which Lleshaj was told that he resigned, but in fact he was fired. Yesterday, CNA.al was able to “knock down” in court an arrogant former minister.
A former army general who surrendered his ranks to become a “captain” of the party. Yesterday the media won a battle, with a former minister of Edi Rama, against an arrogant
to the media. Yesterday the truth triumphed. The facts and evidence presented in the media, which when properly documented, cannot be ignored by any army general or “party captain” who tries to violate the dignity or punish the media.
Yesterday, Judge Migena Laskaj set a standard of justice for us as media, giving a verdict of innocence to CNA.al, as our professional lawyer Saimir Vishaj, has proved in every court hearing that we have not slandered and didn’t have a tendency to offend anyone.
We have accused an incumbent Minister of Interior, who is no longer in that duty. We accused an Interior Minister of buying a luxury BMW in times of crisis. We have accused an Interior Minister, with direct facts and documents. And on the other hand we have given our opinion and commented with real political facts and arguments.
Now that he has lost the trial, we tell Mr. Lleshaj that he has a moral and civic obligation, in case he is still at the level of that former general, to apologize publicly to the readers of CNA.al, the staff of journalists who dealt with the investigation of the BMW scandal, and citizens he has filled with anger by writing statuses on Facebook, or suing the media in court. This apology would probably ease his grieving soul from the fact that he left the ranks of general to become a “captain” of the party./CNA.al
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