Brother of Albanian PM denies involvement

The brother of Albanian PM Edi Rama, Olsi Rama, has been allowed to leave Serbia after he was reportedly detained on suspicion of causing a stadium incident.

Source: B92

The authorities in Belgrade suspected that he was behind a provocation staged by the visiting Albanian fans during the Serbia-Albania qualification match for the European football championship.

Namely, a small, remotely guided craft was released above the pitch near the end of the first half, with a map showing Greater Albania attached to it. When a Serbian team member attempted to remove it, several Albanian players assaulted him.

Serbian fans then invaded the pitch, and attacked some Albanian players as they were heading toward the tunnel. The referee suspended the game, and it was not resumed on Tuesday night.

According to the sources with the Serbian MUP who spoke for Tanjug, Olsi Rama was released at around 02:00 CET on Wednesday.

The Albanian News24 broadcaster earlier said that Rama and three other Albanians were first held for 40 minutes at the stadium and then put in a vehicle and transferred to the airport.

It was suspected, and Serbia's public broadcaster RTS reported it, that it was Rama himself who operated "the drone" with a map showing Greater Albania.

Although it was unofficially heard that he was under arrest, he has been allowed to leave Serbia. Reports also said that he showed a United States passport to the police.

According to the Albanian media the case was "a misunderstanding," while after negotiations with the Serbian police four persons were "released, and were not arrested."

Upon returning to Tirana, Rama denied his involvement in the incident and rejected "Serbian media speculation" that he organized the incident and was controlling the craft.

"I was neither arrested nor detained. When the incident happened the situation became chaotic, the police officers checked everything. I showed them my American passport and camera. That lasted a couple of minutes," he said.

The major incident took place amid indications that relations between Serbia and Albania might improve. It was previously announced that Edi Rama would on October 22 visit Belgrade - which would make him the first Albanian prime minister to do so in the past 70 years.


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Politics Friday, October 31, 2014 15:41 Comments: 10
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