Attorney for family of man killed in southern Albania says coroner allowed only 5 minutes to view body

1 November 2018
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An attorney for the family of a 35-year-old Greek citizen killed in a shootout with Albanian police on Sunday said authorities in the neighboring country allowed him and an accompanying coroner only five minutes in which to examine the victim’s body.

The attorney, Costas Giovanopoulos, said the body of Konstantinos Katsifas was washed and two fatal bullet wounds in the chest were stitched up. Additionally, he said no visible injuries were noted on the victim’s legs and that the two bullet wounds were not from point-blank range.

He also said the body’s was not released to the family but ordered taken to a central mortuary in the Albanian capital of Tirana.

Albania’s ambassador to Athens was called to the foreign ministry in Athens on Monday and presented with a protest over the death of the ethnic Greek man a day earlier in southern Albania under very murky circumstances.

Media in both countries devoted extensive coverage to the case since Sunday. Katsifas was killed in a shootout with members of an Albanian police SWAT team just outside the village of Bularat/Vouliarates on Sunday afternoon.

Katsifas was described as holding strong views regarding the rights of the internationally recognized ethnic Greek minority in the area, and over the presence of a newly inaugurated Greek military ceremony.

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