From: Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Court Releases Another Convicted Murderer and Gang Member

Fier Court judge Piro Sota has released criminal Sardian Sulejmani, a member of a notorious Durres gang. The decision was taken in October 2019, and Sulejmani has been free since then. 

He was charged with two counts of attempted assassination and murder and was sentenced to 25 years in prison in July 2014. 

Sota accepted Sulejmani’s request to be released on probation after serving about 20 years years in prison. The conditions of his release include not associating with criminals. The reasons given for his release include the fact his father lives alone and that he had been well behaved while incarcerated.

Sulejmani is a known accomplice and associate of Endrit Dokle who had his life sentence converted to 25-years and was then released on probation.

Dokle was sentenced to life in prison for murder and being a member of a criminal organisation. Kruja court Judge Enkelejda Hoxha made a judgements in favour of him and released him.

This is the seventh known instance of convicted gang members and murderers being released after serving a part of either life or 25-year sentences.

Viktor Ymeri, a former member of a Vlora gang was released at the end of 2019. Lulzim Caka, leader of a Berat gang and convicted of five murders was released in early 2019. 

Two other members of Durres gang, Lulzim Berisha and his brother-in-law Plaurent Dervishaj were charged with four murders. Berisha was released in 2016, six years earlier, after Durres Mayor Vangjush Dako offered him a job contract with the municipality. Dervishaj was never convicted.

Aldo Bare, leader of a gang in Lushnja was charged with five murders and sentenced to life in prison but in 2017 he was granted a retrial.

The list also contains Dritan Dajti, convicted of killing four policemen. He previously received four life sentences but after a retrial in February 2019, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison and could, therefore, be eligible to apply for release in the same way as Dokle.

The Democratic Party has accused the government of facilitating the release of career criminals, stating that it is being done so that they will secure votes for them through the intimidation of voters.

“No one has any doubts that the release from prison of organized crime bosses and the most dangerous murderers has been carried out with Edi Rama’s full knowledge,” PD Secretary General Gazment Bardhi said.

“They have all worked inside and outside the prison to secure votes for the Socialist Party for keeping Edi Rama in power […] This is the reason they are being rewarded with illegal release from prison, as part of the agreement to co-govern with organized crime,” he added.

Justice Minister Etilda Gjoni requested the dismissal of the judge who released Dokle, but the PD called this a “charade” and warned that another convict, Arben Grori– convicted of murder and drug trafficking- could be released soon.