League Two outfit Leyton Orient have released a statement on their official website after a court issued a warrant for the arrest of the club’s owner Francesco Becchetti.
Becchetti tookover at Brisbane Road last summer after buying 90% of the club from Barry Hearn, but has recently placed the O’s up for sale again after less than a year at the helm.
Earlier this week the Albanian authorities issued a warrant for the 48-year-old’s arrest after he was accused of fraud and losing the country tens of millions of euros following a failed hydro-electric scheme.
Should Becchetti be found guilty of the charges, he may face up to 15 years in prison.
However, the Italian businessman believes that the accusations are “groundless and politically and improperly motivated,” and the club have released the following statement in response to the claims.
“Francesco Becchetti is aware that earlier this week a Court in Albania issued a warrant for his arrest and made orders freezing assets belonging to his Albanian companies. Arrest warrants have also been issued in respect of others.
“The allegations which have given rise to these Court orders are groundless and politically and improperly motivated. Mr Becchetti is currently involved in complex commercial litigation against the Republic of Albania, in which large sums of money are at stake.
“It is believed that these allegations have been made in order to harass him and to put pressure on him to settle the litigation on terms that are advantageous to the Republic of Albania.
“Mr Becchetti will vigorously contest the baseless accusations against him at the appropriate time.”
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