News 08 Feb 13

US Pans Albanian Verdicts on Protestors’ Deaths

The US Embassy in Tirana has expressed shock at the acquittal of two Republican Guard officers accused of the murder of three protesters during the January 21, 2011 riots.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana

“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 US 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.

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 protestors during the January 2011 rally, while Prendi shot with his pistol toward the crowd 11 times, killing one person. Four protestors in total died during the protest 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.

The protest turned into a riot when several hundred opposition marchers attacked a police barricade set up to protect the office of Prime Minister Sali Berisha, using sticks, stones and Molotov cocktails.

Police responded with tear gas and water cannons, and later the Republican Guard used live ammunition fire.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Premium Selection

macedonians-abroad-support-protests-back-home-05-10-2016
24 May 16

Macedonians Abroad Support Protests Back Home

Members of Macedonia’s large diaspora are showing their sympathy for the Protestiram movement at home.

deported-albanians-lament-failed-bids-to-reach-uk-05-23-2016
23 May 16

Deported Albanians Lament Failed Bids to Reach UK

On the flight back from Holland, some of the Albanians deported back to Tirana last week spoke to BIRN about what drove them to try to reach the UK in the backs of lorries.

23 May 16

Macedonia Deputy PM Kept Cypriot Firm Secret

19 May 16

Serbia's Talent Hub Faces Economic Challenges

Latest News from the Balkans

24 May 16

Talks on New Serbian Govt to Start Monday

24 May 16

Romania Probes IT Giant HP

24 May 16

Greece Starts Clearing Idomeni Refugee Camp