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Albanian Premier Cleared Of Arms Trafficking

23 February 2005 -- An investigation has cleared Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano of allegations that he trafficked arms to Kosovo during its 1998-99 war.

A statement by the public prosecutor's office said the investigation proved that the allegations that Nano was involved in arms trafficking between Albania and Kosovo in 1998 are false.

In November, opposition lawmaker and newspaper editor Nikoll Lesi played an audiotape in parliament in which Nano allegedly discussed the possibility of trafficking arms between Albania and Kosovo, a southern province of Serbia.

The prosecutor's office said Lesi claimed the tape was recorded in a Tirana hotel in 1997 by a Western intelligence service.

But the office said there is no proof that the conversation took place. It also said that Lesi had tried to back up his story with falsified documents.