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Op-Ed: Outrage as student to be charged with shooting Albanian burglar

By Katerina Nikolas     Jun 8, 2012 in World
The young Greek veterinary student who shot and killed an Albanian burglar that had held a knife to his mother's throat, was cheered as he entered the court complex on Friday morning.
Digital Journal reported the shooting of a 43-year-old Albanian, who together with two other men broke into three residences in Peania in the early hours of Thursday morning. In the second home the gang entered the female owner was threatened at knife-point but her two sons were alerted by the alarm sounding.
One of the men alerted was a 24-year-old veterinary university student. Alexandros Alexandrakis, the suspect's lawyer, said "He was awoken by the house alarm and saw one of two attackers wearing masks: one was holding a knife to his mother's throat and the other wielding an iron bar." Ekathimerini reported the student told his lawyer “I thought they would kill my mother; my mind snapped when I saw the knife held against her neck.”
He chased after the burglars with his hunting gun, intending to immobilise him. The student stumbled on the ground and his gun went off, killing the Albanian.
Ta Nea reports that the student, who turned himself in to police, has been charged with manslaughter. If convicted he could face up to 20 years in jail. He is said to be in shock and fully repentant of his actions.
Police said the dead Albanian was breaking into houses with two accomplices, one his 46-year- brother who has now surrendered to the police. The men had entered Greece from Albania just three days earlier.
Keep Talking Greece reported that residents of Peania described the crime wave that has overwhelmed the village. Residents said every single house in the village had been broken into. One resident who had been burgled twice said “We cannot go out, we cannot sleep at night,” whilst another said the family slept in shifts to keep watch for burglars.
As the student was brought to court hundreds of supporters applauded him, calling out "Innocent." Because he surrendered to police immediately he is now in custody. If he had instead chosen to evade capture for 48 hours he would not be locked up but only required to appear in court on given dates.
The case is all to reminiscent of many others where householders, defending their property and loved ones, have inadvertently taken the law into their own hands and paid the price. The young man has spoken of his repentance, saying he did not intend to kill anyone. Locals have appealed to the prosecution to deal with the student, described as a quiet young man, with leniency.
The student witnessed a stranger, who had forced his way into his home, holding a knife to his mother's throat. It is no wonder there is outrage today in Greece over the prosecution of the man who thought of nothing more than defending and protecting his mother against foreign criminals.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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