The mayor of Lushnja, Fatos Tushe, was arrested along with 15 other public officials and bussinsmen in an operation carried out by the Special Prosecution of Office against Corruption (SPAK) on Tuesday morning, local media reported.
Tushe was arrested on charges of corruption as part of a larger anti-corruption drive by SPAK and the Albanian police.
This is the first case that SPAK arrests a mayor, who is a member of the ruling Socialist Party (SP) and has been mayor of Lushnja since 2011.
Reacting soon after the arrest, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said on Twitter that the Socialist Party will not offer any protection to members of the party brought before the courts, who will have to take care of their own defense.
There are suspicions of abuse of public funds by Tushe and the other detainees and prison measures have been deemed necessary.
The operation ordered by the SPAK was executed in the early hours of the morning and was an unusual situation, according to media reports.
Tushe was kept on the premises of the municipality until the control on the premises of the municipality was completed. He was then escorted to the premises of the Police Directorate, while the other persons were placed in cells. / argumentum.al