Saimir Tahiri was found not guilty of drug trafficking but sentenced for abuse of office, in verdict announced as Tirana seeks a date to open EU accession talks next month.
The Albanian authorities renewed their efforts for the project after negotiations with a Turkish tie-up of Cengiz, Kolin and Kalyon failed in April this year due to disagreements with the government over the project.
The Albanian government says large-scale cannabis plantations have been wiped out in the last few years, but the fight against drug cultivation continues.
Tirana invites bids for feasibility study for new airport on Albania's Adriatic coast as it prepares to find a new construction company to take on the project.
Unfavourable weather conditions this year limited production at Albania's main hydropower plants, while electricity imports soared.