Albania opposition claims premier funded Obama’s campaign

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s main opposition Democratic Party has made a criminal complaint against Prime Minister Edi Rama, accusing him of illegally funneling $80,000 to U.S. President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012 in return for a photograph of the two men together.

The Democrats on Monday brought the case to the Prosecutor General’s office, saying Rama — who was then the opposition leader — paid the money in violation of U.S. and Albanian laws to gain access to a campaign event in San Francisco.

Last week Bilal Shehu, 48, a U.S. citizen of Albanian origin, pleaded guilty in federal court in New Jersey to willfully making foreign contributions and donations to the Obama campaign.

Rama has denied paying for the tickets, although he acknowledged meeting Shehu at the event.