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The Rama file, the Albanian prime minister is asked by a prosecutor and an FBI official in New York and the unfortunate coincidence of McGonigal's guilty plea for the affairs of the head of government
Written by Elmas Bogdani 28 Shtator 2023
The echo of the scandal of the former high official of the FBI, Charles McGonigal, continues, where the name of the prime minister of Albania, Edi Rama, is also mentioned. According to still unconfirmed sources, it is said that the Albanian prime minister was questioned for 1 hour and 30 minutes by a prosecutor and an FBI official immediately after he got off the plane in New York on his several-day visit to the Security Council meeting in UN. Soon after, the prosecution made a deal with the former FBI agent to drop the eight charges to keep only the case involving Rama. According to what has been made public, federal prosecutors agreed to drop all other charges: two counts of falsifying records or documents, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and six other counts of concealing material facts or giving false statements. The indictment filed in Washington pointed the finger at McGonigal for concealing payments of $225,000. So in the meantime, there may be a bargain that could have forced McGonigal to plead guilty, after charges that could have sent him to prison for many years were dropped. Could this be a coincidence? Rama's positions are more endangered than ever since in the file available to the Americans, Charles McGonigal has admitted that he received 225 thousand dollars from the former agent of the Albanian secret service, Agron Nezaj to lobby against the leader of the opposition, Lulzim Basha and that met the head of the Albanian government. The former agent appeared in court a few days ago, pleading guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence. In the agreement that was reached, McGonigal has shown everything, from the visits to Tirana, meetings, secret conversations, etc. In the already made public file, the name of the head of the government is mentioned 11 times. In part of it, it is highlighted that McGonigal has benefited from expenses covered trips to Tirana, Kosovo and Bosnia, expenses that appear to have been covered by an Albanian, while the meetings with Rama appear to have been organized by another Albanian, who is described as Rama's "informal advisor".
American warnings about the McGonigal file
Americans have often been clear and emphatic that individuals who undermine democracy are no joke. They made an example of Sali Berisha by blacklisting him. A few weeks ago, when DASH envoy Gabriel Escobar was asked about the McGonigal file and Rama's role, he said that the US has relations with Albanians and not with individuals, making it clear to the Albanian leader and everyone else that they are replaceable. . I can't talk about an open criminal case like the McGonigal case. The relationship between the United States and Albania is with the people of Albania, with the institutions, not with a party and not with an individual. Having said that, I would say that our relationship with Albania is the best we've ever had", said the most important person that the president of the United States of America, Joe Biden has brought about the Balkans. Even the two American senators, Chris Murphy and Gary Peters, who visited Albania months ago, declared in voice and image that Albania-US relations have not been compromised at all. But according to him, the case is very hot and until it is finished, the US will be careful in its comments, since the criminal process is still ongoing and the "McGonigal-Rama" file is still under investigation by the FBI. So the situation is not good for the Albanian leader and this comes from the frequent meetings of a prime minister with the former FBI official who has nothing to do with Albanian politics, the executive or any institution that belongs to this country. These meetings are a dark point for a character who leads the Albanian state, who brings the state's leadership into the rut of spies, dubious characters or ordinary bargains. His downfall may come suddenly. The file has been in SPAK since January 2023 from the opposition's denunciation. The Americans are ready to provide information to the special prosecutors, and the new justice system, having the US behind it, does not ask for names when it comes to closing the file.