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:

live-macedonia-elections-2016-12-09-2016
11 Dec 16

LIVE: Macedonia Elections 2016

Stay tuned for all the latest developments, election results and reactions as Macedonia goes to the polls to elect a new government amid a deep political crisis.

11 Dec 16

Macedonia Polls Open in High-Stakes Elections

10 Dec 16

Five Die as Freight Train Explodes in Bulgaria

09 Dec 16

Macedonian War Crimes Convict Warns of Unrest

09 Dec 16

Dahlan Corruption Trial to Reopen Next Week

09 Dec 16

Bulgaria President Faces Struggle to Form Govt

Premium Selection

oleg-deripaska-montenegro-s-saviour-turned-enemy-12-09-2016
09 Dec 16

Oleg Deripaska, Montenegro’s Saviour Turned Enemy

The Russian billionaire who now claims hundreds of millions of euros from Montenegro was only ten years earlier welcomed as a friend and life-saving investor.

romania-braces-for-uncertain-election-outcome-12-08-2016
09 Dec 16

Romania Braces for Uncertain Election Outcome

Amid visible dissatisfaction with the current politicians who are widely viewed as corrupt and ineffective, the outcome of the elections looks like remaining uncertain until the last moment.

09 Dec 16

Cleaning Up Romania

04 Dec 16

State of the Unions in Serbia

Latest News from the Balkans

11 Dec 16

Macedonia Polls Open in High-Stakes Elections

10 Dec 16

Five Die as Freight Train Explodes in Bulgaria

09 Dec 16

Macedonian War Crimes Convict Warns of Unrest

09 Dec 16

Dahlan Corruption Trial to Reopen Next Week

09 Dec 16

Bulgaria President Faces Struggle to Form Govt