Imprisoned Himare mayor-elect Fredi Beleri has sent a letter to the top diplomats of the EU and the United States in Albania protesting and condemning a protracted trial against him and the standing refusal of a special anti-corruption court in the country to release him on bail.

Beleri has been jailed since last spring, days before he won the Himare municipality’s mayoral race by the slimmest of margins. He faces charges of vote-buying after at least a couple of witnesses made such allegations. However, the special three-justice court in Tirana has failed to conclude the trial against him, while judicial officials in the neighboring country have refused to allow him out of remand, even for a day, to be sworn-in as the mayor of the southern coastal municipality, home to a sizeable ethnic Greek community.

He was allowed out of his cell for one day to attend a funeral, accompanied by a police escort.

Beleri is both a native of Himare and a dual Albanian-Greek citizen. He has directly charged that Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama engineered the now shaky court case against him because he beat an incumbent supported by the latter.

“I am addressing you with respect as the elected mayor of the municipality of Himare, because I am sure that my case demonstrates that this is not the justice system you want for us, the justice system we deserve,” the 52-year-old Beleri said.

In his letter he condemns what he calls the forgery of official documents, perjury, illegal police actions and constitutional violations, charging that the justice system in Albania is being compromised “for the political interests of one man, who sacrifices the sacred principles of democracy and free elections,” a reference to Rama.

The letter is addressed to the European Union’s ambassador to Albania, Silvio Gonzato, and the US ambassador in the Adriatic country, David Wisner.