H/T to Prishtine: Independence and Kanun
Thousands Join Pristina Protest Over Policeman’s Murder
04 09 2007 Pristina _ About 3,000 people joined a protest in Pristina against organised crime in Kosovo on Tuesday, expressing revulsion over the killing of Triumf Rizaj, a police officer shot dead on August 30.
Photo by Sokol Ferizi
Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Agim Ceku, joined the protest together with the interior minister, Blerim Kuqi, the head of the parliamentary commission for security, Naim Maloku, Fatmir Limaj, vice-president of Kosovo’s Democratic Party, PDK, Behgjet Pacolli a Kosovo businessman who recently formed a political party and other public personalities, officials and artists.
Many stores closed in the city as the march passed while many people stood by and observed. A Kosovo Police Service, KPS, unit saluted a large portrait of Riza. He was the third policeman to be killed this year in Kosovo.
According to the organisers, the protest “was organised at the spontaneous request of citizens, incensed at the cowardly murder of one of their most professional protectors of law and order and a pillar of our community”.
Riza was a member of a unit of the KPS in charge of security for VIPs. Although the investigation is ongoing, police have already arrested several people over the case, of whom at least five are being detained for 30 days.
Police sources said Riza had fallen into conflict with the notorious Enver Sekiraqa gang, named after a controversial businessman. In September 2000 Sekiraqa was arrested as a suspect for the assassination of a Pristina municipal official, Rexhep Luci, but was released for lack of evidence.
Riza and Sekiraqa were involved in at least two incidents in the past, one including firearms, according to police sources. It is said that the conflict between them became especially inflamed when Riza started dating Adelina Ismajli, a famous pop-star previously seen with Sekiraqa.
Most of the men arrested in connection to the case were detained in the Sekiraqa café in Pristina that allegedly belongs to the gang. However, Veton Elshani, the KPS spokesperson, noted that Sekiraqa had not been named as a suspect in this case and there was no arrest warrant out for him.
However, police sources have told Balkan Insight that Sekiraqa`s whereabouts are unknown and that he is sought for questioning over Riza`s murder. Balkan Insight has not been able to reach Sekiraqa for comment.
Further pics of the demonstration from Prishtine: Independence and Kanun