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Albania ex-minister jailed for abuse of office

Associated Press Associated Press 15/09/2016

TIRANA, Albania — An Albanian court has sentenced former labor minister Spiro Ksera to 20 months in jail for abuse of office.

Ksera, 49, minister of labor, social affairs and equal opportunities until 2013, was convicted for setting aside 30 million leks ($285,000) for activities with the Roma community that never took place but were authenticated with fake photos and video. The money allegedly went into the pockets of the minister and his staff.

Ksera denied the charges and his lawyer said he will appeal.

A former ministry lawyer was jailed for 10 months in the same case, and two other officials were given probation.

A recently approved judicial reform package is expected to fight corruption and bribery among prominent officials, the main problems plaguing post-communist Albania's two and a half decade.

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