The fourth part
Memorie.al publishes some of the unknown stories of the former prime minister during the life of communist Albania, Mehmet Shehu, told by the former bodyguard and commander of his escort group, Ali Çeno, regarding his boss’s relations with Enver Hoxha and some of the most talked about events that continue to be shrouded in mystery even today after four decades since his elimination, such as those of the evening of December 17, 1981, when Ali Çeno accompanied his boss home after the meeting of the Politburo, where he was severely criticized by Enver and most of its members and the morning events of that night, when the Albanian Prime Minister was found lifeless in his bedroom!
Rare testimonies of the former bodyguard of the Albanian Prime Minister, starting from the events of 1974, when Enver tried to bring Mehmet into conflict with Beqir Balluku and other former generals who were shot, Enver’s contradictions with Mehmet since 1976, which brought a cooling between them and also of Fiqret and Nexhmija, so much so that the holidays did not bring those two families together as they had always done, (the conflict which was reflected in the two groups of escorts that were headed by Sulo Gradeci and Ali Çeno), fierce debates of the two highest leaders of communist Albania, in the spring of 1981, when demonstrations began in Kosovo, the events of autumn 1981 after the engagement of Mehmet’s second son, with “The girl with a bad biography”, where Enver and Nexhmija went to congratulate and why they took out the photographer of the prime minister’s family, the debates about the break-up of that engagement after Enver ordered Mehmeti to return urgently from Korça… ?!
The meeting of the Politburo on the afternoon of December 17, 1981, and the special orders given by Prime Minister Shehu to his bodyguard, for the service group that was guarding the villa that night, who and why informed Cheno to go there that night on duty, which had never happened before… ?! How Ali learned on the morning of December 18 what had happened to his boss, what Vladimir, the eldest son of the Shehu family, told him before he entered the prime minister’s bedroom, Ali’s telephone conversation with Ramiz Ali and his response, the role of Kadri Hazbiu in that event, the inhuman tortures that the investigator Sokol Koleka inflicted on Ali during the investigation process and what he asked him to say about Enver Hoxha, the version that Cheno gives, about the way, the mechanism and the people who took part in the assassination of former Prime Minister Shehu, and why does he accuse Ramiz Alia, as the executor of that plan that was previously conceived by Enver Hoxha ?!
“The meeting of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the ALP, ended there around 20.00 in the evening and immediately after that, Mehmeti, very nervous as rarely ever, hurried into the studio of his house and threw the bag at the door, which fell to the floor. I immediately sat down to pick him up to put him in the place where he usually kept him, but he said to me: ‘Leave Ali damn, leave…’! Seeing him in that very shocked state, to soften him somewhat and calm him down, I said, ‘Whenever we are criticized, we should not do so.’ After that, he turned to me and said: ‘Why did you take Ali, do you compare yourself to me…?! Did you not hear what the little ones were doing at the meeting, like a parrot?! ‘?! (He was talking about the meeting of the Politburo that had just ended, where almost all its members, instigated by Enver Hoxha, severely attacked him with various accusations). After a while, around 8:45 pm, from the work studio where he was alone and I at her door in the corridor, Mehmeti called Enver and said: ‘Comrade Enver, can I only come for five minutes, to copy some things… ‘? I did not hear what Enver answered on the other side of the receiver, but I learned that the next day from Fiqret. Before I left him, to go to my house, Mehmeti addressed me: ‘Ali, beware of the service, lest evil come from where it awaits’. I had a clear idea of why he was speaking, and before I left, I shared the assignment with the service group, left for home, only to return after a phone call from one of the escort group members, and I slept in the service room. The next morning, after I pulled out the Benz and got it ready to take the boss to the Bureau meeting, I heard screams from the second floor of the villa. Then, Vladimir, the eldest son of the family, came out and asked the doctor (Llesh Rroku) and me to go upstairs quickly. Ladi pointed her finger from the bedroom and, trembling, said to me: ‘Ali, go and see my father!’! I immediately got in there and for the moment, I remembered that he had fainted. I immediately measured his pulse and saw that he was finished… ”!
This is how Ali Çeno, the bodyguard and former commander of the escort group of the communist Prime Minister of Albania, Mehmet Shehu, and one of his most trusted people, remembered on the night of December 17-18, 1981, when he met and accompanied the chief. on his way home, after the meeting of the Politburo, where Mehmeti was called to account, regarding the engagement of his second son, Skënder…! After that, Ali was silent for a moment and his eyes almost filled with tears. “Here is how my flesh shrinks…”, he told us, as he remembered his former boss, the longest-serving prime minister in the history of the Albanian state, whom he served faithfully for ten years and for the first time showed us all the behind the scenes that led to the fatal night of December 18, 1981, when the Albanian Prime Minister, who for 27 years had ruled the country with an iron fist, was found lifeless in the bedroom of his villa, at the entrance of “Bllok” , just a few steps away from the building of the Central Committee of the ALP and the great palace of Enver Hoxha, whose shadow seemed to cover it every sunset…!
As well as when the contradictions between Enver Hoxha and Mehmet Shehu first arose, who was the minister who testified about the fierce conflict between them in 1954, when after the closure at home guarded by his loyal former partisans from Mallakastra of the Brigade First Attacker, Mehmeti, got ready to go up the mountain ?! What accusations had been made against Prime Minister Mehmet Shehu that day on December 18, 1981, at a meeting of the Politburo and what he had talked about with the son of former Minister King Zog during a visit he had made as Prime Minister to the town of Cërrikut?! Why did Mehmeti ask for a meeting with Enver Hoxha that evening, a few hours before the mysterious event and what was the answer he received from him?! Ever since the contradictions and big rift between them had started, which led to the irreparable conflict of that fatal night at that end of December, and was it related to the heated debate that had taken place between them in front of the Party House as they left the building of the Central Committee of the ALP in March 1981, when the demonstrations had started in Kosovo and Mehmet Shehu had asked Enver to take the tanks to the border with Yugoslavia?
What were Mehmet’s relations with Ramiz Alia and why did they break up just a few days after the ceremony performed by the two families Shehu and Alia, in the villa of Dajti Mountain?! What had Enver Hoxha plotted, when together with Nexhmija, they went to visit the Shehu family, to wish the engagement of the son, Skënder, with the daughter of the Turdiu family and why they took out the photographer of the Shehu family (Dashamir Rrapin), by do not let him take your pictures? Why did Enver urgently call Mehmet from the meeting in Korça in October 1981 and what did he ask of him in his house, which Mehmet categorically opposed in the fierce quarrel that broke out between them?! Why on the evening of December 18, Mehmeti ordered the commander of his guards, Ali Chenon, to: be careful, that danger could come to you from where they were waiting?! What did he mean by that message and why was Ali Cheno called that night to go to sleep there, which he had never done before during the entire period of nearly 10 years he served in that position?!
Why did Ali Cheno insist, saying that: his boss had not killed himself, but had been killed by another man, who entered the night through the front door of the villa, collaborating with one of the officers of the internal service?! How did Ramiz Alia react when Ali informed him of what had happened to his boss? What was in the glass that Ali saw on Mehmet’s bedside table and why did it disappear immediately, after a group of forensic experts entered to inspect the scene?! Was Kadri Hazbiu implicated in that event, what was his position on the investigator and what did Kadriu say in the trial about Mehmet Shehu and the trial panel? What did investigator Sokol Spiro Koleka ask investigator Ali Çeno during the investigation process and why did he have to admit that: his boss Mehmeti, had charged him (Ali) to assassinate Enver Hoxha?!
About these mysteries where most of them are unknown and previously unpublished, as well as many other unknown events and facts related to the former Prime Minister of the Albanian state, Mehmet Shehu, as well as relations and reports with Enver Hoxha, are made public by the testimonies narrated exclusively by Ali Çeno, former bodyguard and commander of his escort group, which Memorie.al publishes for the first time for its readers in several issues of the dossier section.
Continued from the previous issue
Çeno: Here is how I found Mehmet lifeless in bed!
“His hand was cold and half frozen. He was lying in bed with his mouth and eyes closed and the bed had no wrinkles. As I was measuring my pulse, I saw Ladin take some sheets of writing to the nightstands, which were inserted in an open envelope. I told him to give it to me, but he told me they were for the family. Also on the dresser I saw a glass that at the bottom of it had a yellow liquid finger. Mehmeti used that glass to drink chamomile as a sedative, from the very anxious state of mind he had in those days. At that moment I called Ramiz Alia and said: ‘Comrade Ramiz, listen to me carefully, Mehmeti has killed himself’. After my words, Ramiz answered me quite calmly, as if I had given him some very ordinary news, saying: No hour. I told him again, that: Mehmet had left a letter in a large envelope. Only after these words Ramiz started shouting and very angrily said to me: ‘Whoever has the letter, let no one read it, do not open it at all’. Less than 15 minutes later, Kadri Hazbiu, who at that time was still (formally) in the position of Minister of People’s Defense, came to the room, while Ramiz Alia stood down and did not climb at all. Kadriu’s first words were: ‘Who has the letter’?! I told him that Ladi had it and I immediately entered the room, took him out of there, and told him to give the letter to Kadri. After a while, the group of forensic experts came there to do the expertise. They collected all the items that were there in Mehmet’s bedroom, such as a watch, tape recorder, etc. As they were packing them in their suitcases, I told them to take and the glass that was on the dresser. But when I turned my head, I saw that the glass was not there. “I got angry and started to check, I went into the bathroom, but I did not find him there either”, Ali Çeno recalled those moments of the morning of December 18, 1981, when he found without signs of life his boss, the Prime Minister of Albania , Mehmet Shehun!
Çeno: Ramizi’s murder
How does Ali Çeno think that the assassination of his boss, Mehmet Shehu, took place, and what are the mysteries that covered that night at dawn on December 18, 1981. Who are the real perpetrators who ordered the assassination of Prime Minister Mehmet Shehu, how were the behind the scenes plotted and how was that murder carried out? The bodyguard and commander of the group accompanying the former Prime Minister of communist Albania, for a moment was silent and sighed, rubbing his chin with his hand. As he thought for a moment, in the look and mimicry of his portrait without speaking, it was clear that he knew far more than he wished to tell us about that unusual event, which would radically change the course of his life, smashing the prisons of the communist regime for ten years! In this regard, he testified: “I have never doubted that the murder was hatched by Ramiz Alia”, issued the sensational accusation of Ali Çeno, pointing the finger at the last former communist President of Albania, as one of the perpetrators of the murder of former Prime Minister Mehmet Shehu and continued, saying: “I am more than sure about this. Ramiz was the only one of all the members of the Politburo and those of the Central Committee who stayed very far from Mehmet, because everyone else was ‘sus’ and tried to serve him as much as possible, despite the fact that Mehmet could not stand I can say them. Ramiz Alia came to Mehmet’s house, only on holidays and that was done face to face. Mehmet’s elimination came as a result of the opening of the way to power of Ramiz Alia, whom Enver defined as his successor. Yes, Ramiz could not take the place of Enver (after his death) if Mehmet Shehu were alive and he had not been physically posted before. So Enver and Ramiz decided to physically eliminate Mehmet, to ensure the continuity of power of the Hoxha family, which Ramiz had given evidence that he would do, by connecting the relationship with Enver’s family. Whereas Mehmet Shehu, not only had not shown any desire to enter into a relationship with Enver’s family, but he had done the opposite, he had rejected it, when Nexhmija had a desire and had tried to get one of her nieces engaged and married Skënder, Mehmet’s second son. Mehmeti had done the same with Ramiz Alia, perhaps even more flagrantly, breaking the friendship between the two families, just a short time after the ceremony they held in the villa of Dajti Mountain, at the beginning of 1980. These actions of Mehmeti were not few, to give Enver to understand, that he, (Mehmeti) was not asking at all about him (Enver), that about Ramiz, not that not that in his resurrection, even when Enver was dead. And what I think Enver and Ramiz could not swallow is that Mehmeti not only refused friendly relations with their families, but agreed to connect with the Turdiu family who, according to Enver Hoxha, had relatives of some escaped criminals. In America, including Arshi Pipë, who had made very serious moral accusations against Enver Hoxha. Seeing all this in the complex, Enver and Ramiz took the decision to physically eliminate Mehmet Shehu and the realization of that plan was taken over by Ramiz, who started preparing the situation by plotting criticism in the Bureau “, said Ali Çeno, releasing the sensational accusation against Ramiz Alia and the reasons why the physical elimination of his boss, Mehmet Shehu, was decided.
Çeno: Here is how I think the murder took place
What happened on the evening of December 18, 1981 in the labyrinths of the communist “Bloc” where the senior Albanian leadership lived, after the physical elimination of Prime Minister Mehmet Shehu was decided and how was his assassination carried out? Regarding this, Ali Çeno said: “I think that the plan for the murder of Mehmet has been clearly defined and in detail, which would be realized on the evening of December 18. I say that two variants were prepared for that. The first option was to kill Mehmet, as it was done, saying: ‘he killed himself during a nervous breakdown’. The second variant would be applied in case the first variant could not be realized. In this case, in the second variant, Mehmeti would be arrested or killed on the pretext that: ‘that night as there was no other way out, from the situation that was created after the criticism in the Bureau, he wanted to kill with Enver Hoxha was assassinated and his bodyguard Ali Çenos was charged with that, who failed to commit the murder, as he was arrested shortly before committing it ‘. For the realization of the second variant, I had to be present that night in the premises of Mehmet’s villa. To solve this (since I never slept there), one of the members of the service group called me that night, telling me that: I should definitely go there, because when Mehmeti asked him, they had told him that Ali was there on duty and no liars had to come out in case the chief (Mehmeti) would ring the bell, to look for me. So, thinking of friends, that night I was forced to go to the villas around 11pm, inadvertently falling into that trap that had been previously organized, for me to be there. Since then, I have always remembered and been tormented by the fact that: where did the person who carried out Mehmet’s murder enter the villa. At first I suspected that he had passed through the back door of the villa, where usually we had no guards, but then I learned the truth and I know very well that the person who committed the murder, entered through the front door of the villa, which opened from the inside with the intercom. To realize the entrance of the killer inside the villa, one of the internal service cooperated, who opened the door from inside. I say that at the beginning this internal person threw sleeping medicine in the glass that Mehmeti used with chamomile and after that thing had the effect, the person entered his room and killed him in his sleep, with a silenced pistol. , because the sound of the pistol would be impossible not to be heard in the stillness of that night, not only from us who were a little further away, but at least from Astrit Veliu (years later, commander of the President’s escort group, Rexhep Meidani ) which was serviced right next to Mehmet’s bedroom window. I am quite convinced that this is how the murder was carried out and not as he says, the chief forensic expert, who stated that it was a classic suicide. There is no classic suicide, there are classic murders. What if that forensic expert was then forced to say that, today it is immoral not to tell the truth, that it was a murder? It is known that suicide is committed in conditions of a deep depression and the person who does it, is completely disfigured. In this case, Mehmeti was in a completely normal position lying on his back with his legs together, half covered, with his eyes and mouth closed and his glasses removed, probably because he was paralyzed while reading, and his bed his was without any wrinkles. There is no possibility for a man to kill himself without being distorted at all and the pistol at the moment of shooting should have jumped a little away from his body, when in fact it was almost close to his hand. That it was a murder was confirmed by the Minister of Health, Llambi Ziçishti, when they told him: ‘Come on, Mehmeti has killed himself’. But when Llambi came there, he naively said, ‘This is not suicide.’ This statement cost Llambi Ziçishti his life. “Yes, the glasses that were on the bedside table, what was inside and why they disappeared, when it was needed for examination and not the watch, tape recorder or glasses that the group of forensic experts took with them”, concluded his testimony Ali Çeno, regarding that how the mechanism of the assassination of his boss, Mehmet Shehu, worked that night of December 18, 1981, even being completely convinced of his claims./Memorie.al
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