Albanian court upholds detention of ethnic Greek mayor-elect

A Court of Appeal in Tirana extended the pretrial detention of the ethnic Greek mayor-elect of Himare who was arrested over an alleged election crime, state-run broadcaster ERT reported on Thursday.

Fredi Beleri was detained just two days before local elections that were held in southern Albania on May 14 over alleged voter bribery but still won the mayoral race. 

The same court agreed to release his aide, Pantelis Kokavesis, for health reasons, on condition he reports to the police. Both officials had appealed their incarceration.

Beleri's imprisonment and the inability to take the oath could cost him the mayorship as the swearing-in requires the personal presence of the winner at the municipal council within three months of receiving the appointment from the Central Electoral Commission.

Foreign Minister Vassilis Kaskarelis had asked for the release of...

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