Helsinki Committee: Discrepancies in Police Records Concerning Enea Ftoi’s Death

The Albanian Helsinki Committee (KShH) has publicly demanded that the Prosecution Office conduct a complete and independent investigation into the death of Enea Ftoi in the custody cells of the Korça Police precinct.

Despite the legal expertise that came out yesterday, concluding that the victim’s body did not show any signs of violence, according to KShH there are discrepancies between the version of events given by the police, and the one given by documentation and records.

We will provide a brief timeline of the events.

On May 14, 27-year-old Enea Ftoi, the father of three children, was arrested committing a violent robbery.

He was accompanied to the Korça Police precinct, where he was medically inspected.

The inspection revealed that Ftoi was a drug user, and, to calm him, he was given diazepam both as an injection and a pill.

On May 17, in the first hours of the morning, a few hours before Ftoi appeared in front of a judge for his preliminary hearing, the 27-year-old was found dead in his cell.

Ftoi’s family claims he lost his life as a result of police violence. According to them, to cover the violence, the police did not even notify the family. They learned of Ftoi’s death from their relatives, only when they arrived at the court to witness Ftoi’s hearing.

During a verification mission, the KShH found out there were discrepancies between the records, the documentation of the precinct, and those of the prosecution and court.

The Korça Police precinct’s head nurse claimed that the deceased received medical attention and was checked on by him every day, whereas the records state that Enea Ftoi received medical attention only on May 15, at 15:00. The person who visited him was not even a doctor, due to such a position being non-existent in the personnel structure.

On May 17, when Enea Ftoi was found dead in his cell, there is a discrepancy between the Consignment Service Register and the document sent to the Korça court.

Namely, the Register, on May 17, from 6:00 to 7:45 in the morning when the shifts changed, states that the state of all detainees was normal and unproblematic. Meanwhile, in the document addressed to the court, the precinct acknowledges that Enea Ftoi passed away at 7:30, on May 17, 2018.

When asked by KShH inspectors, the precinct employees could not describe the conditions and circumstances Enea Ftoi died.

Nonetheless, the employees admitted that they had been unable to inform Ftoi’s family, even though their contact information had been recorded by the authorities.

During the time the autopsy took place, KShH inspectors were kept in the dark, with the excuse that the case was being followed by the Prosecution.

Following the first autopsy, which claimed no signs of violence were found in the body, two more inspections are expected to determine the cause of death.

This is not the first time the police is accused of committing violence within custody or prison cells.

In October 2017, the Albanian Helsinki Committee denounced a case in which an inmate from the high security section of the prison in Peqin had been tortured and physically abused by the prison guards.

In the same month, the KShH published a shocking report concerning the observance of the UN’s Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which Albania has ratified. The report is largely critical of the legal standards concerning the investigation and indictment of torture, as well as the conditions of prisoners in Albania.