News 09 Feb 13

Albanian Judges Accuse US of Interference

Three Albanian judges, who acquitted two Republican Guard officers of the killings of three protesters in the January 21, 2011 riots, have accused the United States of interfering in the case.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana
Ndrea Prendi, former head of the elite Republican Guard who, with another officer, an Albanian court acquitted of charges they shot dead three opposition supporters during an anti-government protest two years ago | Photo : AP/Hektor Pustina

The accusations come after the US embassy in Tirana expressed shock over the verdict, which has caused uproar in Albania, too.

“The embassy statement is troubling because it interferes in the judicial process,” the judges' panel said.

“Such statements can create prejudices toward this impartial verdict,” they added.

Tirana’s District Court on Thursday rejected murder charges against General Nrea Prendi, former head of the Republican Guard, and Agim Llupo, former chief of staff of a special unit of the Republican Guard, arguing that there were was insufficient evidence to convict them.

According to prosecutors, Llupo aimed at, and shot dead, two protesters during the January 2011 rally, while Prendi shot with his pistol toward the crowd 11 times, killing one person. Four protesters in total died in the rally and seven others were wounded, including a TV reporter.

The prosecutor’s conclusions were backed by ballistics evidence, including expertise from the FBI Crime Lab.

On Thursday, the US embassy in Tirana said the verdict raised questions about the independence of the judiciary in Albania.

“We are dismayed by the decision of the Tirana District Court to acquit the two defendants who stood trial on charges related to the deaths of three civilian protestors on January 21, 2011,” the embassy said.

“Regrettably, today’s verdict has undermined confidence in the ability and willingness of the Albanian judicial system to deliver justice in an impartial, transparent manner,” it added.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

businessman-arranged-croatia-president-meetings-with-trump-s-men-01-19-2017
21 Jan 17

Businessman Bonded Croatia President to Trump Team

US businessman Jeffory Blackard says fruitful meetings he arranged in the US for Croatia's President gave her a head start on most world leaders when it comes to Team Trump.

20 Jan 17

Bosnian Serb Invites to Trump Gala Disputed

20 Jan 17

Birth of Trump Era Divides Balkan Countries

20 Jan 17

Croatian School Removes Anne Frank Exhibition

20 Jan 17

Croatia Accused of Forcing Asylum-Seekers Out

20 Jan 17

Balkan States Eye Their Prospects in Trump Era

Premium Selection

birth-of-trump-era-divides-balkan-countries-01-20-2017
20 Jan 17

Birth of Trump Era Divides Balkan Countries

Right-wing Serbs are euphoric while Romanians and Bosniaks are worried. All over the Balkans, governments and people are watching to see what a new era in US diplomacy brings.

kosovo-s-serbs-feel-frightened-insecure-and-misused-01-19-2017
19 Jan 17

Kosovo’s Serbs Feel Frightened, Insecure and Misused

Serbs in Kosovo say that the recent ‘propaganda train’ dispute between Belgrade and Pristina left them worried about their security and fearful that they are being used as political pawns.

18 Jan 17

Serbia Urged to Build on Results of 2016

17 Jan 17

Dodik’s Secession Talk Keeps Bosnia on Edge

17 Jan 17

Young Albanians Strike Gold in the Emirates

Latest News from the Balkans

20 Jan 17

Bosnian Serb Invites to Trump Gala Disputed

20 Jan 17

Croatian School Removes Anne Frank Exhibition

20 Jan 17

Croatia Accused of Forcing Asylum-Seekers Out