A fugitive, convicted of a murder committed in New Cross has been arrested in Kosovo.
Gerald Mitre, 25, also known as Aldo Alialj, fled abroad after murdering Aaron Stokes, 24, at the Centerpoint hostel in New Cross. Mitre stabbed Stokes in the chest after discovering that his sister, who was also staying at the hostel, had been involved in an intimate relationship with Stokes. Mitre then fled the scene of the crime before police had a chance to arrest him.
Mitre’s sister lied to officials when questioned, claiming the man who stabbed Stokes was an unknown intruder. She later changed her statement and claimed responsibility for the murder herself. This resulted in her being charged with her lover’s murder, and perverting the course of justice.
In the time running up to her trial she changed her initial statement and admitted that neither she nor an unknown suspect had killed Stokes. It was in fact her brother, Gerald Mitre, who had committed the crime.
After this new revelation, detectives from the Metropolitan Police Homicide and Serious Crime Unit, launched a national manhunt to track down Mitre. It became apparent by early 2007 that Mitre had fled the UK and was residing in Albania.
Once jurisdiction was transferred from Britain, the Albanian authorities appointed three judges, a prosecution lawyer and a defence lawyer to represent Mitre, all of whom flew to London to begin gathering evidence from witnesses.
In January 2010 a hearing was held in an Albanian court. Stokes’ family attended but Gerald Mitre was not present. Mitre was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to fourteen years imprisonment in a high security prison.
Mitre was later arrested in Kosovo in December 2010 and he is currently awaiting extradition to Albania
Reviewing Lawyer, Lorna Heger, CPS, said: “This case is a very good example of different countries working together in the spirit of international cooperation”.
Detective Inspector Nick Sumner, who led the murder investigation, said: “I am pleased for Aaron’s family; they have displayed great patience, dignity and understanding in their wait to achieve justice for the senseless murder of their son”.