bne IntelliNews – Albania’s ex-president Meta told prosecutors about ‘outrageous’ spending on beauty treatments

Albanian lawyer Idajet Beqiri has filed a criminal complaint with the Special Anti-Corruption Structure (SPAK) against former President Ilir Meta and his wife, fellow politician Monika Kryemadhi, in which he accused them of money laundering. ‘silver — and spending what he called an “outrageous” sum on beauty treatments at foreign clinics.

It is one of several investigative requests filed with SPAK against Meta since his term as president ended in July.

In the complaint, Beqiri called on SPAK prosecutors to launch a criminal investigation into allegations of corruption and concealment of income.

He claimed that Meta, Kryemadhi and their children had spent an “outrageous amount” on beauty treatments at private hospitals in Vienna and San Marino.

The complaint calls for criminal prosecution for several alleged offences, including concealment of income, corruption, failure to declare assets and money laundering, according to an article on the complaint published by the Albanian newspaper Sot and republished by Beqiri on his Facebook page.

Beqiri said his investigation showed that Meta, Kryemadhi and their children received treatment at the private Casa di Cura Privata Domus Medica hospital and clinic in San Marino.

“This hospital mainly, but not exclusively, performs aesthetic treatments and procedures on ‘VIP’ people from the worlds of art, sport and showbiz. The aforementioned private hospital is recognized as one of the most expensive… This hospital is not only known for its highly qualified doctors, but also for the fees it charges its patients, which are too high,” says the communicated.

He also claimed that Silva Shametaj, a doctor at the clinic, is a personal friend of Meta and Kryemadhi.

A separate investigation was launched by SPAK just a month after Meta’s term ended, following a lawsuit filed by former MP Halit Valteri. According to local media, Valteri claimed that Meta used funds obtained through corruption for lobbying, as well as money laundering.

Meta has denied the charges against him.

Prime Minister Edi Rama in a speech in May called on SPAK to investigate both Meta and former President Sali Berisha, who has been blacklisted by the United States for “significant corruption”.

Meta was named president in 2017 with the support of Rama’s socialists and their then-coalition partner Meta’s Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI).

When Meta became president, Kyremadhi stepped in as head of the LSI.

Since then, relations between the Socialists and LSI have soured, and Meta has become a staunch critic of Rama’s government.

This spring, parliament, where the Socialists have a majority, elected former defense chief Bajram Begaj to succeed Meta as president.

Immediately after his term as president ended, Meta presented plans to revitalize the opposition SMI, which was renamed the Freedom Party.

More recently, Meta threatened at a press conference on August 17 that “powerful protests” over the cost of living would take place in Albania. He blamed the rise in prices on corruption, saying prices would fall when people rose up against the government.