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Kosovo Rules Death Of Jailed Opposition Activist A Suicide


Astrit Dehari
Astrit Dehari

A Kosovar opposition activist found dead in his cell this month committed suicide and no one else was involved, a prosecutor said on November 18.

Medical student Astrit Dehari's death triggered street protests after his nationalist Vetevendosje (VV) party called it murder by stangulation, accused the government of failing to protect him, and demanded an investigation.

But an autopsy determined that the "blockage of the upper respiratory tract" was "self-inflicted," Kosovo authorities said.

"All the evidence...shows that this case was a suicide," prosecutor Syle Hoxha said.

Prosecutor Hoxha said authorities had examined all the video footage and questioned 17 people, but they had found no evidence of a crime.

Dehari, 26, was arrested with five other members of the hard-line nationalist party in September on suspicion of being involved in a rocket-propelled-grenade attack on parliament.

The attack was launched as lawmakers were preparing to vote on a border deal with neighboring Montenegro, a condition of getting visa-free access to the European Union. No one was injured.

VV, the largest opposition party, opposes the deal, saying it hands over about 8,000 hectares of Kosovar territory to Montenegro.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

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