Translated by: Kristi Gadeshi –
The decision was given by the Court of Appeal in Patras, which declared innocent the Albanian citizen Asim Shala, marking the first precedent in the history of the Greek judiciary when an Albanian citizen is compensated for unjust imprisonment.
For the first time in the history of the Greek judiciary, an Albanian citizen unjustly held in prison is released and compensated for unjust imprisonment. The decision was taken by the Court of Appeal in Patras, Greece, and this decision is called a rare and historic by Greek media. The second degree has decided to refund the 36-year-old immigrant from Albania Asim Shala in 461 euros for unfairly keeping him in prison for a five-month period.
According to the court, the Albanian will get 29 euros for each day spent behind bars, while in its decision, the Court took into account the economic and moral damage suffered by him. According to Greek media, the 36-year-old Albanian was indicted in 1998 for robbery and in 2001 was sentenced in absentia to 13 months in prison. During his stay in Albania, the young man was not informed about the criminal case opened against him and so he took his way to get back as immigrant in the Hellenic state.
However, due to the decision made by the court, Asim Shala would be caught in the Athens airport (Eleftherios Venizelos) on 4 February 2012 and was sent to ST. Stephens’s prison where he was unjustly held for 159 days. In the second instance trial, he claimed innocence after being knocked all the charges against him. He turned out not to have been involved in the robbery for which he was convicted.
In the complaint filed in the Court of Appeal, 36-year-old Shala claimed that he had no connection with the charges and can not be punished for actions that were not performed. According to Greek media, Shala went to Greece in April 1998 and settled illegally in Amaliadas, doing agricultural work. A year later, he went to Italy illegally and stayed there from 1999 until 2003, when he finally returned to Albania and raised his family. However, due to the economic crisis, in 2012 he decided to leave Albania and go back again in Italy.
Asim Shala decided to go to Italy from Albania, through Greece, flying through the airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”, where he was arrested, after he figured as sentenced by a court,. After a court battle, he took innocence and compensation for unjust imprisonment.
Greek media have considered this rare and historic decision, as there are numerous cases of Albanian nationals arrested and convicted without evidence in Greek prisons, cases that are mentioned in the media and by analyst in the neighboring country. Also, legal experts have highlighted the fact that in many cases Albanian nationals are heavily convicted of criminal offenses for which the Greeks are punished with fines or light sentences.
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