Albanian double murderer tells extradition hearing of 'corruption' fears
An Albanian double murderer living in the UK claims he should not be sent back to his native country because it is corrupt and said he fled there almost two decades ago fearing for his life.
Avni Metra faces extradition to Albania where he is wanted in connection with two murders and possession of firearms dating back to the 1990s.
The 53-year-old, who is entitled to a retrial on the murder convictions which were given in his absence, said he would not get a fair trial.
Speaking through an interpreter he told Westminster Magistrates' Court: "There is no justice in Albania. There is only corruption."
Asked why he left the country, coming to the UK in 1998 and living under an alias, he said: "My life was in danger. My friend was killed."
He said he had been warned by a "police friend" to leave the country "otherwise you are going to get killed".
The father-of-four has also claimed he should be allowed to stay in the UK because of his family, but Hannah Hinton, representing the Albanian government, told the court Metra had little contact with his children owing to a court order.
Ms Hinton said: "He may wish to have contact with them but he is having no substantive contact with them here. He is not their carer, he is not an active parent to the four children."
Metra was arrested in June while on bail on suspicion of rape, an earlier hearing was told.
On Thursday, the court heard Metra, who is in custody and previously lived in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, was convicted in 2011 of common assault against his ex-partner, and subject to a restraining order for a year afterwards.
Asking Judge Margot Coleman to extradite Metra, Ms Hinton said: "The offences for which he is sought in Albania are of the most grave kind and there is a strong public interest in ordering his extradition to Albania to face justice."
The case was adjourned until August 19 when Metra will learn whether he is to be extradited.