One of the documents underlines the so-called “Berisha’s breakdown in the Parliament” on February 23rd 2008, when he offended and threatened with death the opposition MP, Taulant Balla, using bad language.
The US Embassy in Tirana comments:
“Although Berisha’s breakdown is nothing new, this rhetoric from the Prime Minister has shocked the strongest political class and the media. ‘Shame and embarrassment’ were the most common reactions.”
“Berisha’s screams added the speculations that the increasing pressure after the tragedy of Gerdec and the verge of the new parliamentary elections have found Berisha in a difficult situation”.
Another cable refers to the General Prosecution and Albanian Government request for expertise assistance in the investigations of Kosta Trebicka’s death, the key witness and whistleblower of the Gerdec trial.
Regarding Gerdec, another document mentions the “pro-Berisha” media, such as TV Klan and Koha Jone, which undertook a wave of attacks against the General Prosecutor Ina Rama.
The comments of the US embassy say that “these media attacks are signals of the government’s next move with their campaign for undermining the General Prosecution’s independence. This last tactic is only an effort for making the Prosecution follow the government’s line and lead ‘soft’ investigations for the sensible cases of Gerdeci and Fazllic, which have harmful implications for the government. There is another hit for the Prime Minister, when his son-in-law Jamarber Malltezi was accused of abusing with the World Bank funds for personal interests for the Development of the Southern Coastline Plan.
The comment of the US embassy says that five months before the parliamentary elections, other corruption scandal – besides Gerdeci, Durres Kukes road and the agreement with Damir Fazllic – darkened Berisha’s anti-corruption image and increased the public perception that the Prime Minister, his family and his close circle is using the power for increasing their own wealth.
Corruption of state officials and power abuse are a hot topic for the voters, but also a double blessing for the opposition, referring to their past and present business agreements.
For the US embassy, the scandal of the former Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Ylli Pango, who appeared asking sexual favors in exchange of a job in a video-scandal broadcasted by Top-Channel, shows how merciless was the ruling party for discharging him.
While the Foreign Minister Lulzim Basha was facing trial for power abuse and the Defense Minister Fatmir Mediu was also under investigation, Berisha and Topalli couldn’t afford another scandal in their cabinet.
“Their quick response showed that Pango was not liked in many circles, but also the sensitivity of the Prime Minister before the elections for avoiding another scandal that includes the ministers of his government”, the cable continues.
Another cable also mentions the public appearance of the US Embassador John Withers in the comic show “Portokalli”, which enjoys very high ratings, and its effect in the public. According to the US Embassy, this makes the Albanian public understand the political, social and cultural values of US.