By Afrim Imaj
Memorie.al / At the end of August and the beginning of September of 1983, a mysterious video that was distributed a few days before the trial of Fiqirete Shehu, prepared with her testimony during the investigative process by the people of the State Security, was distributed in all the cities of Albania from the South to the North which was heard with the center of the voice in the most important institutions, enterprises and work centers of production throughout the country. The widow of the former prime minister who committed suicide under suspicious circumstances, affirmed with her own mouth, the whole mystery of the sensational event as well as her “hostile activity” and that of the Shehu family as well. All those who had the opportunity to know him closely were surprised by the testimony of Fiqirete Shehu, the wife of Mehmet Shehu, (former member of the Central Committee of the Party since April 1952, former director of the High School of the Party ” Vladmir Ilic Lenin” in Tirana), while the majority of the people, workers and peasants wherever they were, believed blindly, everything was said in that ghostly video, where she confessed with conviction, plots after plots, devised by her husband and others, with the sole purpose of carrying out the assassination of the main leader of the Party, Enver Hoxha!
After her testimony, the senior leadership of PPSh headed by Enver Hoxha, Ramiz Ali and the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hekuran Isain, who were the main creators of that process and the video that was served to the Albanians with the testimony of Fiqrtet Shehu, thought that all doubts about the suicide of former Prime Minister Mehmet Shehu would be closed. But soon, people would start talking under their breath and questioning her statements, thinking that she was repeating what the investigators and the Security people dictated to her. Meanwhile, the first hypotheses arose, according to which Fiqiretja was forced to do everything in order to save the rest of the family, the children.
Continues from last issue
The decision of the trial body
The jury, during the trial of the case, heard the explanations of each defendant, the statements of many witnesses, directly administered the act-expertise, documents and various material-scientific evidence, as well as listened to the last talks, during which:
The prosecutor requested that the defendants be declared guilty of the crimes they are accused of and, based on the legal provisions that provide for these crimes, finally be punished:
– Defendant Fiqirete Shehu with 25 years of imprisonment,
– The defendant Llambi Ziçishti by death,
– Defendant Nesti Naste with 22 years of imprisonment,
– Defendant Skënder Shehu with 15 years of imprisonment.
And in the speech of the defense, the four admitted their guilt for the accused crimes, declared that they are deeply remorseful and asked for a milder punishment.
The court, based on the facts and circumstances of the case:
From the trial, the charges against the defendants, members of the counter-revolutionary organization headed by the enemy-polyagent Mehmet Shehu, were fully proven. In an organized and continuous manner, for a long time, they have carried out activities against the RPSSH and the APS, aiming to violently liquidate the dictatorship of the proletariat and socialism, establish a fascist, bourgeois-revisionist dictatorship and restore a capitalist order in Albania.
The defendants Fiqirete Shehu, Llambi Ziçishti and Nesti Naste, in cooperation with other enemies and under the direction of the traitor, terrorist and saboteur Mehmet Shehu, using state positions, have acted to undermine the external security, have carried out terrorist activities, sabotaged in various fields of state activity, have propagated against the Party of the Albanian State.
The hostile activity of all these traitors directed by the poly-agent Mehmet Shehu, closely connected and constitutes a whole with all the hostile activities, starting from the enemies Koci Xoxe, Nako Spiro, Sejfulla Malishova, Liri Belishova, etc., up to to hostile groups headed by Beqir Balluku, Abdyl Këllezi, Fadi Paçrami, etc.
Relying on all the evidence administered during the examination of the case, the court concludes that; all their activity represents in it fully organized activity, with a stable character, which was guided by certain goals, activity developed on the basis of a common plan.
Documents and depositions prove that in the 30s, American Intelligence recruited Mehmet Shehu as an agent, among others. To increase his political cred and create the conditions for him to penetrate the revolutionary movement, the American agency sent him for military studies in Italy, then in the Spanish war, as an alleged anti-fascist fighter. This agency, together with the English intelligence, returned Mehmet Shehu to Albania at the time when the flame of the anti-fascist National Liberation War was raging.
But while our people shed blood for the country’s freedom, they tried to sabotage it. At the head of the effort, were the Anglo-Americans. Yugoslav revisionism joined these, because they had captured Tito at the head of the Yugoslav party.
The Titian emissaries in Albania began to recruit some of the main cadres into the Yugoslav intelligence service (then OZNA, today’s UDB) such as; Mehmet Shehu and Fiqirete Shehu, and others, who tried to create conditions for Albania to become a country dependent on Yugoslavia.
Yugoslav agents, especially Mehmet Shehu and Fiqirete Shehu, Liri Gega, played a vile role behind the back of the party, using terror and holding sectarian positions, in order to strike, discredit and separate the people from the Communist Party.
According to the assigned task of the Anglo-Americans, Mehmet Shehu put the General Staff in danger, during the German winter operation in 1943-1944, tried to prevent the passage of the First Division to the north and the complete annihilation of the German army in Tirana and, of the gangs of Abaz Kupi and his friends.
Police agent Mehmet Shehu acted with the aim of establishing a bourgeois order in Albania after the war, where capitalists and exploiters were at the helm. This goal was clearly reflected in the so-called “political program”, prepared 40 years ago and found in the safe after the suicide. This program is also embraced by Fiqirete Shehu, and others.
The latter herself explained: “… Mehmet Shehu told me that; In 1943, Kadri Hazbiu went to Çorrush, to the house of Mehmet Shehu. There, Mehmeti read the program to Kadri, and he liked it very much and said that; it is a very important document”!
As it resulted from the development of the trial, the titists and the Soviet embassy in Tirana in 1956 organized the anti-party conspiracy at the Tirana Conference. At the head of the conspirators and instigator was Mehmet Shehu. For this activity, Fiqirete Shehu testified: “… at the behest of the UDB, I contacted Feçor Shehu … and other agents that the UDB had decided to put into open action…”, this moment, she made it concrete even during the trial of the case. While more weighty agents, such as: Mehmet Shehu and Beqir Balluku, were left in reserve, to attack at the decisive moment”.
It is very clear that; Fiqrete Shehu’s statements were taken under conditions of extreme violence and pressure, that she may have agreed to testify and sign, with the sole purpose of saving the children, and that everything was obviously drawn up by the State Security. Why was such a show missing?
It is likely that everything was related to the suicide or murder of Mehmet Shehu and the difficult reading of this moment by a significant part of the people, who thought it was a big betrayal. This is because Shehu was one of the figures with the belief, or the cult of the individual, that was too concrete in a part of the people.
So, in order to dispel this dangerous opinion, Hoxha and his people must have organized the blackening of the Shehu’s figure to the maximum. A maxim that in any case was more reliable if it was articulated from the mouths of those closest to him. This is what the content of the following article is about.
“Eliminate Enver Hoxha at all costs. Mehmet to take the reins of power!” This recommendation of the foreigners, Fiqirete Shehu, the widow of the suicidal prime minister, testifying in the trial of August ’83, appreciates it as an appeal from her husband’s friends, but also as a clear order from them to make the alienation of power in Albania.
According to her, Mehmet Shehu had this plan very early, since the war years. So the widow of the former prime minister brings before the court, a retrospective of the secret efforts made by her husband to avoid Enver from the head of the National Liberation Movement and the leadership of the Communist Party.
For the first time, Fiqirete Shehu reveals the unknown fact regarding the failure of the incursion of the 1st Assault Brigade, which was called urgently to come to the aid of the General Staff, which had remained surrounded by the Germans during the winter operation of the year ’44. Meanwhile, the wife of the communist prime minister reveals the mystery of the actions behind the scenes of Berat, where the avoidance of Enver Hoxha was almost realized, but he did not find the right support to replace him.
“Mehmet Shehu, Fiqretja said in court, has tried several times to eliminate the first secretary, but in no case has he succeeded.” In her memory, the efforts made in the early 1970s to complicate his health, with the help of personal doctors and the secret operation with Yugoslav agents to provide the delayed-acting poison, which did not it was never realized…!
“Convicted number three”
(Fiqrete Shehu, in Zeimeni Prison, Lezhë)
It was September 11, 1988, when the wind of liberalization had just begun to be felt, the warden of Zejmen prison in Lezhë, would call for the last time during the appeal, the woman who had been wandering from one prison to another for seven and a half years: “Convicted number three”.
After that, in very suspicious circumstances, she passed away, since a few hours before, she was in good shape, while being transported at night by prison soldiers, to the village cemetery where she was buried in the presence of the prison doctor, whose signature confirmed the death.
The manner of Fiqrete Shehu’s death has remained enigmatic, just like her husband’s suicide. While that of the former prime minister hovers between murder and suicide, his wife, it is not known whether she was poisoned or had a natural death, stimulated by constant torture and the difficult life of the cell.
Archival documents about her death are few and moreover incomplete. “Convicted number three died”, “convicted number three was buried” or “we confirm the death of convicted number three”.
Only these phrases contain the minutes kept by the command or administration of the prison of Zejmen in Lezhë. Meanwhile, in the offices of the Civil Registry, there is no question that she has been deregistered. Also, in her file, there is no record of her death, or her autopsy. Only after they were convinced that she had passed away, three soldiers, who were guarding the prison, transported her body to the outskirts of the village, where there was an old cemetery.
In the presence of the prison doctor, they opened the pit and after signing the report of the case, of course calling her “prisoner number three”, they covered her in the grave. The grave was left without any distinguishing marks, but a glass bottle was placed just below the surface, apparently to remain a marker for later.
Later, after 1990, when the democratic changes began, in this cemetery, many other corpses were found, of former prisoners who had died while serving their sentence. Apparently, the communist dictatorship, afraid of the fact that one day the truth would become public, took care to destroy as much evidence as possible.
Almost all the graves that were found in the old cemetery, on the outskirts of the village of Zejmen, have the same shape and the same way of burial, of course, with a glass bottle being placed as a sign.
But unlike the others, Duro Shehu, the brother of former Prime Minister Mehmet Shehu, claims that his sister-in-law was poisoned in prison. Referring to one of Fiqreta’s co-sufferers, who had shared her last moments with the wife of the former Prime Minister, Shehu, claimed a short time ago that, moments before her death, Fiqreta was called to the prison command.
Unlike when she left the cell, she came back crushed and with a different color on her face. According to the former prime minister’s brother, this shows that his sister-in-law was drugged before she was poisoned.
As it seems, everything has been done to get her a “last hand” of information. Overwhelmed, as she was at the time of her return to the cell, she asked her cellmate to give her the suit she had in the cell’s made-up wardrobe.
“Why, where are you going”, she had asked him curiously, while she had brought the suit closer to the bed. “For a long way, for the next world”, replied Fiqiretja and closed her eyes, which seems to have been informed about the poisoning, or at least understood its effect after consuming it.
Duro Shehu, reserves to mention the name of the person from whom he got the information. The only details he claims about him, he says, is that he was originally from Vlora and that suffering in communist prisons brought him together with his sister-in-law. Continuing on the last moments of the sister-in-law, Duro Shehu, says that the only witness of the fatal moments, told him in confidence that; Fiqireta was drugged before they poisoned her that day.
Cellmate: What Fiqiretja said to me, after the end of the trial?
She had been suffering from a serious illness for years and was bedridden all the time. At that time, he had passed his 80s and said that he will live a long time. The several-year sentence had alienated his life, while everything had started from scratch, in the beginning of the 90s.
She had been a co-sufferer with the ex-prime minister’s wife and had shared the same cell with her. They talked for hours together, like two women suffering and without hope. He kept many memories of Fiqrete Shehu’s worries and thought that many of them will never be revealed.
She agreed to confess “Anonymity”, with the condition of not being identified, for strong reasons, as she said with a northern accent, just for some human experiences.
During the conversation, he had to stop several times, as if to verify what he was saying. She felt tempted not to, spontaneity pushed her to confess what she thought were unnecessary and delicate, to be made public. However, it was restrained and correct, as much as it was recalled from the company with the prime minister’s wife, during the days and nights of the dark cell…!
“Okay, my job, the deficit, the sabotage, but what happened to you”? With this question, as he said, he greeted Fiqrete Shehu for the first time, as the fellow sufferer from the north appeared in his cell.
“How would I know, poor thing”, remembered her answer, the ex-convict who had shared the cell with Mehmet Shehu’s widow.
She said that Fiqreti was shocked and occasionally did uncontrolled actions. At first, her co-sufferer expressed, she did not want to talk and confess and was suspicious of everything I asked her.
Sooner or later, when we became friends, she agreed to open up to me, but again very reserved, she was overwhelmed by the dilemma of the unexpected meeting of all Mehmet’s family members. “This was a crazy dream”, her friend recalled, Fiqirete’s sighs, while she remembered the surprise at the terrible accusation, according to which they were going to kill Enver Hoxha…!
Enveri gave names to Mehmet’s sons
The drama of Mehmet Shehu’s family, for Fiqirete, was the result of Enver’s sudden rage. The woman who lived with him in the cold cell, remembered that, the widow of the former prime minister, she called the attitude about her son’s engagement to Silva Turdiu a meaningless alibi. She even told him that Enveri, together with Nexhmien, were among the first friends who congratulated them on this engagement.
However, shortly after that, Enver Hoxha, Mehmet’s closest friend, would pour all the batteries on him, and even crucify him as a sworn enemy of the Party. As the ex-prisoner, who had shared the cell with Fiqrete, recalled, she and other family members never found out the real cause of Enver’s sudden hostility.
“They were more than two brothers, but”, Fiqirete’s co-sufferer recalled her confession. She learned in the conversations of those days that Enver Hoxha, in the name of friendship with Mehmet, also baptized his sons. The names Vladimir, Skender and Bashkim, Fiqiretja told their sons, Enveri gave them…! Memorie.al
The next issue follows