QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE MCCOMBE
MRS JUSTICE DOBBS
| ANDREA BARDHOK PRENGA
(aka NDRE BARDHOK SUMA & NDRE SUMA)
|- and -
|THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA
Peter Caldwell (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) for the Respondent
Hearing dates : 13th June 2006
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Justice Latham :
"Mr Prenga gave evidence that whilst he was at the police station he was physically assaulted by police officers who beat him with truncheons and wooden sticks to make him admit the offence and this continued for about a month. A declaration from the Albanian Centre of Human Rights dated February 2005 stated, inter alia (i) a survey was done in the month of July 1996 in the prison of the district of Puke to oversee how detained people were treated (ii) that the survey ascertained that detained people in the prison were under constant ill-treatment by the Police Staff serving there.(iii) that one of the ill-treated was the detained Andrea Prenga (Ndrea Suma) who was ascertained as being seriously ill-treated, covered in haematomas, "everywhere in his face, in his head and elsewhere.
The survey and the constant complaints to the authorities were not put in evidence.
Mr Prenga said in evidence that no written confession was made or tape recorded but that he had finally, in order to stop the ill treatment, made a verbal admission in front of the Police Staff.
When it came to the trial it was common ground that Mr Prenga was legally represented and that the penalty for murder was no longer capital punishment but imprisonment. It was Mr Prenga's evidence that his lawyer had asked him whether he wanted to plead guilty or not guilty. The lawyer also advised him that he would have a reduction by 1/3 of his sentence of imprisonment if he pleaded guilty. There is no evidence in the documentation of a confession having been made at the Police Station. Mr Prenga said that he pleaded guilty on his lawyer's advice. His lawyer had also told him that he could appeal. The appeal papers showed the grounds of the appeal as being that his acceptance of his complicity and his mitigating circumstances and his age had not been taken into consideration by the original court in passing sentence. Although Mr Prenga was legally represented at his appeal he maintains, without contradiction, that he was not personally present.
There is some evidence that Mr Prenga was ill treated at the Police Station when detained by the police. There is no evidence that the ill treatment, if it happened, was to procure a confession or that a confession was made.
There was no trial at which the prosecution authorities relied on any confessions as Mr Prenga accepted his guilt.
I cannot be satisfied that an evidential basis has been established to show that the plea of guilty was procured by any ill-treatment he received. He was legally represented and on his own account had a choice whether to plead guilty or not. Neither at the trial nor at his appeal did he raise the issues that he now raises before this court, that his deceased father and another were responsible for the crime in 1992.
I am not persuaded that this is one of those, what Lord Justice Rose described in R (Kashamu) –v- Governor of Brixton Prison AC  QB 887 at 900 as "very rare extradition cases" where it is possible to argue that an abuse of process has rendered the detention unlawful under Article 5 "because of bad faith or deliberate misuse of the English Courts Procedure". The evidence does not in my view establish a proper basis to displace the assumption that the requesting state is acting in good faith."
"After numerous difficulties we managed to have a brief interview with Andrea who informed us that in the cell he was, masked policemen entered and attacked him with rubber and wooden clubs.
"If you do not accept the charges, you shall have a grave for sure" they used to repeat to him whenever they tortured him. While Andrea kept saying he was innocent irrespective of the fact that he might be executed.
On July 30th 1996 we managed to contact Ndue Jaku, who was a police officer charged to deal with the file of Adrea Prenga.
After getting from us sureties for not mentioning his name Mr Jaku told us he was under constant pressure from his superiors in the police.
"Andrea is innocent in no data is there anything to prove that the murder has been committed by him, but he was tortured in order to make him accept the accusation for canon reasons. He was not allowed to have a defending lawyer. From confidential sources it results that the real murders are Andrea's father together with a killer from Shkodra, named Gjon Gjeka. Andrea is a victim of canon law vengeance, instigated by the son of the victim named Anton Lleshi, occupation policeman in the Police Station of Puke"
"I appeal to the court judgment, but also in the appeal, as far as I remember, this matter was not dealt with because allegedly the accused had himself withdrawn the appeal, which for me consisted a violation of basic human rights."
"I pleaded guilty to the murder of Mark Lleshi and Nickoll Mardoda for a number of reasons. Firstly I did not wish to return to the police station at Puke. I believed that if I pleaded not guilty I would be returned to the police station and be tortured again, whereas if I pleaded guilty I would be sent to prison. Secondly, I wished to avoid the possibility of the death penalty. My lawyer had advised my that I risked being sentenced to death if I was convicted after a trial. Thirdly, I accepted my lawyer's advice that I would be best to assert my innocence at an appeal hearing. For these reasons I pleaded guilty. I maintain that I am innocent and I do not know why my appeal hearing was discontinued."
"Concerning the homicide of the victim Mark Lleshi, the defendant did not want to kill him but he intended to kill for revenge the victim Gjergj Markdodaja but he had to foresee that the shooting with a fire weapon towards the two victims could kill also the victim Mark Leshi. So that the defendant did not intend the killing of the victim Marc Lleshi but he has caused the consequence. As the defendant explains and as it comes out of the investigation file, there were found at the scene of the event round fourteen cartridges of an automatic weapon. After the commission of the crime, the defendant left to an unknown destination. With regard to the motives of the complicity, the defendant declares that he has been with his father and they had both decided to take revenge against the defendant Gjergtja Markdoda, who in 1989 had killed the brother of the defendant."
"I have to accepted (sic) the complicity,
Mitigating circumstances and my age have not been taken into consideration,
The court had to sentence me in accordance with the previous Code and consequently it worsened my position."
"Following hearing the preliminary claims of the representative K Capo who asked for terminating the proceedings since he abandoned his complaint, the prosecutor S. Demiri who asked for accepting the request and after a consultation about the claims,
The defendant has filed a complaint against the decision and the district prosecutor filed a responding petition asking for upholding the decision.
The defendant abandoned the complaint in front of the hearing panel and he can do this in reliance to Article 418-4 of the Criminal Procedure Code."
Mrs Justice Dobbs: I agree.
Mr Justice McCombe: I also agree.