PRISTINA, (Reuters) Following an inquiry into a corruption case involving his tenure in office, an Albanian court ruled that former President and Prime Minister Sali Berisha be placed under house arrest.

Prosecutors accuse Berisha, 79, of exploiting his position as premier between 2005 and 2009 to promote his daughter’s spouse in the privatization of a state-owned property. Berisha has repeatedly denied any misconduct.

Berisha presently leads the Democratic Party, Albania’s main opposition party.

“The court accepted the prosecution’s request by changing a previous measure and has now ordered house arrest (for Berisha) without the possibility of leaving the country,” Berisha’s lawyer Genc Gjokutaj said following the ruling.

Berisha will appeal the conviction, according to Gjokutaj, which came after a court concluded he breached an order to appear in front of authorities twice a week.

The former Prime Minister has refuted the prosecution’s allegations, accusing current Prime Minister Edi Rama of carrying out a political attack in order to quiet the opposition.

The prosecution must yet file its final indictment.

“With or without house arrest, with or without police at the door, nothing will be able to separate me from you,” Berisha said on Facebook shortly after the judgment.

“With the motto ‘now or never’ I invite you to continue the battle without return, even stronger and more determined.”

Berisha was president from 1992 to 1997, following the turbulent breakdown of communism in the impoverished southern Balkan country, then prime minister from 2005 to 2013.

The US denied entry to Berisha and his family in 2021, claiming him of engaging in “corrupt acts” as prime minister, including exploiting his office for his personal gain and to enrich relatives and political supporters.

Berisha refuted the charges.