TIRANA, Albania — Albania’s Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the life sentence of a local resident for the murder of two Czech tourists in a car theft in 2015.
Sokol Mjacaj, 27, was found guilty of shooting and killing the two tourists in the village of Prekal, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of the capital Tirana, according to the verdict released by the spokeswoman for the court.
The two Czechs, Michal Svatos and Anna Kusinova, were traveling in their car when Mjacaj stopped them at gunpoint in the village of Lotaj, 190 kilometers (120 miles) north of Tirana. He got into the car and told them to drive towards the city of Shkodra.
Near Prekal, the Czech driver braked sharply and fled the car, but was shot by the shooter. It is not known how the Czech woman was shot.
Mjacaj admitted to the murders and said he wanted to rob the couple. Local media said he was arrested after trying to sell a camera that had belonged to the Czechs.
Tuesday’s verdict follows Mjacaj’s appeal against two previous guilty verdicts in lower courts.
The number of Czech tourists visiting Albania has increased significantly in recent years. Most come by car, lured by the largely unexplored natural beauty of this small Western Balkan country and its relatively low prices.