FM spokesman on reports regarding ethnic Greek's killing in Albania

Foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras on Wednesday expressed Athens' “heightened concern and skepticism” over the fact that nine months of investigations in Albania have merely led to the “renaming” of the killing of an ethnic Greek man in Himare “into an accident”.

Delavekouras made the comment in response to a press question as regards Albanian news reports that refer to the conclusions of an investigation conducted by crime experts.

“We expect from Albania, being a Council of Europe member-state and an EU candidate state to guarantee proper and speed administration of justice,” he said, pointing out that “all options are being considered as regards our future moves”.

Based on the news reports published on Wednesday, the experts’ investigation reached the conclusion that “Aristotelis Goumas died in a road accident he caused”.

The spokesman reminded that “on Aug. 12, 2010, a group of nationalists pursued and murdered ethnic Greek Aristotelis Goumas because he spoke Greek”, and this fact was admitted then by the political leadership in Tirana.

“The crime was condemned by the entire political world in Albania. Albanian PM Sali Berisha stated back then that it 'is a horrible act when someone is murdered on his way home. It is a barbaric act'. Then Albanian government vice-president Ilir Meta stated that 'I believe that the prosecutor and the competent authorities will solve this ugly crime and bring those responsible to justice'.”

Delavekouras also underlined that “we will monitor the court trial very carefully. Greece has no intention of interfering with the Albanian justice system, but it keeps all options open as regards future moves”.

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