With crimes in London committed by Albanians becoming an ever more regular occurrence the Metropolitan Police Service following the conviction of Aldo Aliaj in the murder of Aaron Stokes has warned that Albanians “cannot escape British law”.
Gerald Mitre, 25 (22.07.85) also known as Aldo Aliaj was convicted when jurisdiction of the case was transferred from the UK to Albania.
Mitre murdered 24-year old Aaron Stokes in the Centrepoint Hostel, New Cross SE4 on 2 January 2006.
He stabbed Aaron in the chest after discovering that his sister, who also resided at the hostel, had been intimately involved with the victim.
He fled the scene before the police arrived.
Mitre’s sister lied to officers telling them initially that an unknown intruder had stabbed Aaron and later claimed responsibility for the murder herself.
She was charged with murder and perverting the course of justice, but just before the start of her trial finally admitted that it was her brother Gerald who had committed the murder.
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Homicide and Serious Crime Command launched a national manhunt to find Mitre, but by early 2007 intelligence began to suggest he had fled to Albania.
The reviewing lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service and the detective leading the investigation flew to Albania to request transfer of the jurisdiction of the case to the Albanian judicial authorities.
Albania accepted jurisdiction and in June 2009 three Albanian Judges, a prosecutor and a defence lawyer appointed by the court on behalf of Gerald Mitre flew to London to take evidence from witnesses.
The hearings took place over a two day period at a specially constituted court presided over by a British District Judge. After the hearing in the UK the Albanian judges returned to Albania to conclude the trial.
In January 2010 the parents of Aaron Stokes flew to Albania to hear the court announce its verdict. Gerald Mitre was found guilty of the murder and sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment in a high security Albanian prison.
Mitre was arrested in Kosovo on 29 December 2010. He currently awaits extradition to Albania.
Detective Inspector Nick Sumner, who led the murder investigation, said: “I am pleased for Aaron’s family; they have displayed great patience, dignity and understanding in their wait to achieve justice for the senseless murder of their son.
“As Mitre awaits extradition to Albania to serve his sentence they are even closer to getting the justice they deserve.
“Whilst Mitre managed to flee the UK, he could not escape British law. The Metropolitan Police Service and Crown Prosecution Service in partnership with the Albanian authorities made sure of that.”
Reviewing Lawyer, Lorna Heger, CPS, said: “This case is a very good example of different countries working together in the spirit of international cooperation. I am very grateful to the Albanian judicial authorities for their assistance. I am also very pleased for Aaron’s family that the person responsible for the murder of their son has been brought to account.”