The man wanted for allegedly murdering an ethnic Greek in the Albanian town of Himara turned himself in to police earlier amid claims that the victim was targeted because he was speaking Greek.
It is very harsh for someone to be speaking the language they choose and to suffer such a thing.
The suspect, named as Ilir Mukaj, was the eighth person to be remanded in custody for allegedly deliberately running over and killing 35-year-old Aristotelis Goumas last week.
Mukaj’s family insists that Goumas’s death had nothing to do with his ethnicity but resulted from an argument that led to the road accident.
However, sources revealed that the day before Goumas was killed, three ethnic Greeks had filed official complaints with police in Himara after they allegedly received threats because they were speaking Greek.
Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha called Goumas’s killing a “barbarous act” and said that “it is very harsh for someone to be speaking the language they choose and to suffer such a thing.”
Other politicians in Albania sought to play down the ethnic angle to the killing, suggesting instead that it was part of a rising crime wave.