Albania: Ex-minister faces 12-year term in cannabis probe

TIRANA, Albania — Albanian prosecutors are seeking a 12-year prison term for a former Albanian interior minister accused of being tied to a crime network suspected of trafficking large amounts of cannabis.

Saimir Tahiri has been under investigation for two years on suspicion of drug trafficking, corruption and involvement in a criminal organization.

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The 49-year-old rejects the charges and denies any connections to the alleged trafficking network that also led to the arrests in Italy and Albania of suspected ringleaders.

Prosecutors proposed their sentence on Tuesday. Tahiri briefly was held under house arrest last year.

Some of the network's leaders have been arrested in Italy and Albania.

Tahiri resigned as a ruling Socialist Party lawmaker in May 2018. He was interior minister during 2013-2017.

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