Beleri: ‘It was a sham trial’

File photo.

A mayor from Albania's Greek minority who was sentenced to two years in prison on Tuesday for buying votes, described the judicial proceedings as a "sham trial."

"With a fake criminal record, no evidence, no other witnesses except one who was bribed by the police, with an 'appointed' judge, in a glass cage without communication with my lawyer, the Albanian court sentenced me today to two years in prison," Fredi Beleri said in a statement 

"My crime is that we, Himarans, want to be masters of our ancestral land. My crime is that my countrymen elected me mayor against the plans of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama," he continued and vowed to continue his fight to clear his name.

"Sooner or later, I will find justice. I have as much patience as it takes to get to the bottom of this case."

Beleri was elected mayor of Himare, 240 kilometers (150 miles) south...

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