The principal proceedings in the so-called Rauðagerði trial begin today. One of the four defendants, Angelin Sterkjaj, has confessed to shooting and killing Armando Beqirai in February of this year.
The court will hear testimony from four defendants, among them, Angelin Sterkaj – an Albanian male in his twenties who has been living in Iceland for almost a decade – who confessed to shooting and killing Beqirai outside his home in Rauðagerði in February. According to Sterkaj’s confession, the murder was motivated by “personal reasons” (and is believed to be linked to a settlement between criminal groups.)
The other three defendants, two men and one woman, have all pleaded not guilty to their involvement in the murder. A police officer will also give testimony. As reported by RÚV, an inordinate number of interpreters will assist in the proceedings (witnesses and defendants hail from Romania, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Albania, Serbia, Lithuana, Belarus, and Latvia).
Shot nine times
In what has been one of the most extensive police investigations in history, the murder of Armando Beqirai on February 13 led to myriad arrests. Early on in this investigation, fourteen people were given the legal status of accused, and the defendants complicated the police inquiry by altering their statements during interrogations. Beqirai was shot nine times, in his head and torso. The police later recovered the murder weapon, a 22 caliber Sig Sauer pistol, which had been tossed into the Kollafjörður bay.