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Mass surveillance on police officers turns into political battle

3 March 2014

Media reports on mass surveillance from Albanian Secret Services on newly appointed chief police officers turned into a new political battle during the weekend.

A leaked document by the State Information Service shown by Top Channel Broadcaster states that secret service agents are under orders to investigate on new chief police officers for possible links with criminal activities.

The head of the Parliamentary Committee on security issues Spartak Braho said in an interview on Sunday that he will summon the secret service chief Visho Ajazi-Lika to report, calling the document contrary to the law with “elements of criminal intentions”.

Visho Ajazi-Lika was appointed by the former right wing government amid controversy for its role as secret service operative during 1992-1997. In those years, secret services were engaged in suppressing opposition and dissidence against the rule of then President Sali Berisha, including intimidation and in at least one case, kidnapping and torturing of those considered enemies of the government.

The current socialist government changed the majority of chief police officers when it took power last September. The current government accuses the former Prime Minister Sali Berisha for influencing institutions that by law are designed as independent.

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