WINTERSWIJK – The suspect in the hammer murder in Winterswijk was also sentenced on Friday to eighteen years in prison during the appeal to the Court of Appeal in Arnhem. The 41-year-old suspect has been in jail for four and a half years for allegedly killing Deme Lulaj in Winterswijk with a blood feud as a motive.
Deme Lulaj was hit in the back of the head with a hammer several times on a sidewalk in Verlengde Morsestraat in Winterswijk on Sunday 29 October 2017. He died a day later at the hospital in Nijmegen.
It would be a blood feud, for a little brother of Lulaj’s father had hit the suspect in the head with a pole in a village in Kosovo. Both families were neighbors there. The suspect, who was 12 at the time, witnessed the killing.
‘I hope your soul will burn’
It was, after the right to speak for Mrs Lulaj and her daughter, a violent session. The woman stated that her life has become a hell, both mentally and financially. The daughter personally addressed the suspect in a crackling voice: “I hope your soul will burn in the deepest well of hell!”
The suspect responded in Albanian, after which the daughter threw a cup of water and a box of tissues at him. The hearing was subsequently adjourned. When the president of the court then asked the accused what he had said, he shrugged: “I do not remember. I am silent.”
That silence was – again – the common thread during the session. Only when the blood feud came up and the suspect would have been abused in prison as a result, he replied. He claimed that attempts were made to poison him with food and drink.
The president of the court assured the accused that he had been sentenced to eighteen years in prison and that he now had the opportunity to tell his side of the story. But the Albanian, who in his own words had been nationalized as a German, insisted on the answer he inevitably gave via an interpreter: “I am silent and I am sorry for the family, but I have been innocent for four and a half years. I has nothing to do with the murder. to do. “
The suspect’s lawyer appealed the eighteen-year prison sentence and on Friday came with statements from witnesses who had seen others driving in the car or did not recognize the suspect as the perpetrator of the murder. Incidentally, the lawyer started with an apology: “The pain and suffering of the relatives is clear. But I am also here to do my job and my client thinks he is innocent. It is difficult for the relatives but I have to do work. . ”
Furthermore, the lawyer did not rule out that ‘a mood of mind’ was plausible. “Maybe something broke in him if he did. But maybe my client would warn Deme Lulaj to keep his daughters away from him, and he was not out to kill the person. That he put a hammer in the car is not so strange because he worked in construction. “
The Attorney General of the Public Prosecutor’s Office made various statements from eyewitnesses to the murder in Winterswijk, from relatives of the suspect and his girlfriend, friends and colleagues. This is how his car was seen in the attack on Lulaj. He allegedly did not lend his car that day, did not report the theft of the car and lied about the hasty reason for his departure to Italy.
The suspect said he had to go to Italy on October 29, 2017, the day of the attack, because one of his brother had been out for an accident. Then his phones – he had several numbers – became ‘silent’, and ‘it was as if he had disappeared from the face of the earth’, according to the Attorney General.
She also told of a ‘hidden’ recorded conversation between the suspect’s brothers, a conversation that indicated a blood feud: “The blood has been drawn. Let’s we hope it goes well and that he comes out of prison. Good work has been done . “
She also pointed to DNA traces of the suspect on Deme Lulaj’s jacket. “These clues are 56 million times more likely to belong to the suspect than any other person, research has shown,” the lawyer said. “It indicates he was at the scene on October 29, 2017.”
She considered it “convincingly proven that the suspect acted knowingly and knowingly, resulting in death”. The suspect had also been to Winterswijk before and during a border check, a loaded firearm was found in his car, stating that he was from Winterswijk.
“It was a deliberate plan to kill,” said the lawyer, who demanded eighteen years in prison, minus remand in custody. “I also take into account that the suspect has not disclosed any information and has not taken responsibility for his action.”
In the last word, the suspect maintained his previous position: he had not been at the scene, did not commit the murder, and he is upset by the Lulaj family.
The court’s verdict on the hammer murder falls on Thursday, June 9th.