The leader of the newly-formed Greek party “Democrats” Andreas Loverdos visited the imprisoned Mayor-elect of Himare Fredi Beleri on Tuesday in the prison of Fier, central Albania, stressing that his incarceration was a violation of human rights.

Following his meeting with Beleri the former minister made brief statements to reporters calling the decision to convict the latter a violation of human rights and the constitution, which would cost Albania on its path toward EU integration.

“I came and visited Mr. Beleri, and I would like to make this statement now, as a lawyer and as a politician. I want to emphasize that in this country, in Albania, there are no legal rules. According to the case of Mr. Beleri, I would say that with this negative legal approach, Albania has no chance of becoming a member of the European Union,” said the Greek politician.

Beleri was found guilty by an Albanian anti-corruption court of vote-buying and handed down an unprecedented two-year sentence.

Diplomatic sources in Athens stressed that the conviction heightened concerns regarding the impartiality of the judicial process, while also noting the significant contradictions in the evidence that emerged during the trial for the two members of the Greek national minority.

Authorities in Athens consider that there was a violation of the presumption of innocence due to external statements and actions that advocated for the conviction, with Edi Rama, the Prime Minister of Albania, often influencing the trial through his remarks.