Albanian judiciary system closes the January 21 tragedy case

Albanian judiciary system closes the January 21 tragedy case

Tirana, 26 April 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Edison Kurani

In Albania, the Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of the Albanian Prosecution, which demanded this court to grant its request for the sentencing of the defendants in the “21 January 2011” case.

The decision of the Supreme Court came three years after the request of the prosecution. This decision leaves in power the previous judgment of the Court of Appeal for defendants Ndrea Prendi, former commander of the Republican Guard and Agim Llupo, officer of the Republican Guard.

The body of judges comprised of Aleksander Muskaj, Guxim Zenelaj, Edmond Islamaj, Shkelzen Selimi and Artan Zeneli, decided not to accept the prosecution’s request which demanded the sentencing of Ndrea Prendi with 23 years in prison and Agim Llupo with 25 years in prison.

With this request, the prosecution demanded for the former commander of the Republican Guard, Ndrea Prendi and two Republican Guard officers, Agim Llupo and Margarit Kume to be put in prison again.

Prosecution says that it bases its request on proofs and facts for “intentional killing carried out in a dangerous manner for the life of many people, leading to the death of Faik Myrtaj, Aleks Nikaj and the injury of several other people, the death of Hekuran Deda and Ziver Veizi and the injury of several other citizens, Fatos Mahmutaj, Erald Bisha and Sokrat Gode.”

The judgment of the Supreme Court, which rejects the Prosecution’s request, closes the January 21 case, regarding the death of four protesters, and leaves power the 2013 ruling.

At that time, the court sentenced Agim Llupo with 3 years in prison and the Guard’s commander, Ndrea Prendi with 12 months.

The event in question took place on 21 January 2011 in the “Martyrs of the Nation” boulevard.  During a protest called by the head of the Socialist Party, Edi Rama, four protesters remained killed and they are thought to have been killed by the Republican Guard.

Rama: The denied 21 January after a criminal delay

Prime Minister Edi Rama relates the decision of the Supreme Court with the latest movements of the opposition, which have blocked the judiciary system reform.

Mr. Rama takes the liberty to comment the decision of the Supreme Court and says that this was “the denied 21 January after a criminal delay” of the trial.

Rama says that this is the cause why the opposition doesn’t want to be part of the judiciary reform.

“This is why they are shouting every day ‘crime, crime!’ and call on people to be armed, because they are terrified by the justice that only the Reform in the Judiciary system brings!”, Mr. Rama says.

The son of one of the four victims: I have proof that will shock Albanian justice

Renato Myrtaj, son of Fauj Myrtaj killed on 21 January 2011, says that no justice is being made for those who died on January 21. He considers the decision of the Supreme Court as a third killing for his family. Meanwhile he adds that he was expecting this from the Albanian justice.

Renato Myrtaj says that he has proofs that will shock Albanian justice. He says that he has proof and documents on January 21, 2011 and stresses that a copy has even been sent to the US President, Barack Obama. Meanwhile, he says that this proof will be published in the international press in a few days.

The family members of Ziver Veizi, killed on 21 January, also declare that they will not accept the decision of the Supreme Court, but that they will continue to seek justice.

Prime Minister Edi Rama’s government has warned that if there’s no fair trial in Albania, the January 21 case will end up in the Court of Strasbourg. /