Xhuvani gets 35 years without parole for murdering four at night club

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 13, 2015 10:50
Convicted murderer Kostandin Xhuvani is to serve the full 35-year sentence, without the opportunity for parole or a later pardon in a maximum security prison, the judge rule.

Convicted murderer Kostandin Xhuvani is to serve the full 35-year sentence, without the opportunity for parole or a later pardon in a maximum security prison, the judge rule.

TIRANA, March 10 – A Tirana court has sentenced 25-year-old Konstandin Xhuvani to 35 years imprisonment for killing four people at a nightclub in Tirana last year.

Judge Sokol Tona of the Tirana Court ruled that Xhuvani is to serve the full sentence without the opportunity for parole or a later pardon. Xhuvani is also to serve the entire term at a high-security prison under the sentencing rules.

Prosecutors had originally asked for life imprisonment, but Xhuvani profited from a scheme that allows for a speedier trial and lower sentence if the accused pleads guilty.

Xhuvani has said in a letter to the court that he killed four people last November, including one of his friends by mistake, “under the effects of drugs and alcohol,” following a quarrel at a nightclub on Elbasan Street. He had consumed cocaine, marijuana and a lot of alcohol that night, the letter said.

Xhuvani’s case shocked public opinion and led to the resignation from parliament of his mother, Luiza Xhuvani, 50, an Albanian film and theater star who had served as a Socialist member of parliament for five years.

Three Albanian men, aged between 19 and 38, and a 55-year-old Italian were shot dead at the underground nightclub about 100 meters away from the U.S. embassy and Tirana University’s social sciences campus.

The dead included Edison Jaho, 36, a father of two and a retired army corporal who had served in peacekeeping missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Chad. Enea Xhaj, Jaho’s friend, was also killed. They appear to have been the primary targets of Kostandin Xhuvani after a short drunken bar fight, according to several witnesses who spoke to the local media.

Giampaolo Azzola, a 55-year-old Italian, had been a business owner in Albania for several years and appeared to have been shot as a bystander at the club. Arber Demiraj, 19, was sitting in the table of the assailant and appears to have been shot by mistake by his companion. He was trying to break the fight at the Ante Grand live music club in the basement of an old apartment block on Elbasan Street.

Kostandin Xhuvani had already been known to the Albanian public and authorities after killing another young man in 2011, being on the run for three months and then surrendering to police. He then received a three-year sentence and served about half that time in prison before being freed again. Many Albanians were angry over the previous short sentence. They believe he received preferential treatment as the son of a famous movie director, Gjergj Xhuvani, and Luiza Xhuvani, an actress and a member of parliament for the past five years.

The anger has related to the fact that had Kostandin been given a longer sentence he would not be out to kill again.

“He should have been in prison,” Pertef Musabelliu, the father of one of the victims, told a local newspaper at the time. “He killed in cold blood.”

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 13, 2015 10:50