Albanian former deputy prime minister Ilir Meta was found not guilty of graft on Monday, clearing the way for his possible return to the ruling coalition in which his party is a minority partner. Corruption and deficiencies in democracy have bedevilled Albania’s bid to join the European Union. The Supreme Court cleared Meta of corruption in two government tenders. Meta’s SIM party gives Prime Minister Sali Berisha’s ruling coalition a majority in parliament. Meta had been accused of telling former Economy Minister and party colleague Dritan Prifti to cancel a tender by state-owned Albpetrol and to award a concession for a hydro-electric plant to a company despite an ongoing court review.
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