May 28, 2024


A seven-year-old British girl who was killed by a speedboat allegedly driven by a police officer while on holiday in Albania has been photographed for the first time.

Jonada Avdia was playing in the sea in the south of the country when she was struck and killed by the boat at around 2pm on Tuesday.

Off-duty police officer Arjan Tase has since been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Images have emerged of the moment schoolgirl Blendar Avdia’s distraught father allegedly confronted the police officer.

The photos, posted online by former Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha, show two men, both in swimwear, locking arms as people try to separate them.

Speaking to local media, Albanian national Mr Avdia said: “I was swimming with my daughter near the shore, I saw a white boat with two people.

“The boat parked on the beach near a hotel and I saw a girl get off.”

The father recalled how a woman and children got into the boat and started again through an area blocked off for swimmers.

“He came in our direction and he came at a hell of a speed and he separated me and the girl,” he said

“I dove under the water and the boat hit my daughter with the engine part, cutting her all over.”

Bislim Ahmetaj, a teacher who was at the beach on the day of the incident, recalled how Mr Bledar approached him afterwards and said: “I should have died instead of her.”

In an emotional post on Facebook, he wrote: “Albanians mourn Jonada and her family, while for you, [alleged] killer of children and dreams, there will be no grave.

“Justice for Jonada must and will be decided by Albanian citizens.”

Jonada’s uncle, Ismet Avdia, shared an image of the young lady as he announced her death on Facebook.

“Friends and friends, it is with deep sadness that we inform you of the death of our niece Jonada Bledar Avdia, aged 7, in a tragic accident on the beach of Himara,” he wrote.

An additional 15 police officers who were supposed to be guarding the water at the time of the incident were fired.

Police said Tase was dropping off family members on the shore of Potham Beach when the accident occurred.

After his relatives disembarked, he put the boat back into the water in the same area and hit Jonada while she was only 15 feet from shore.

The tragic incident sparked anti-police protests across the country, as protesters clashed with police in the capital Tirana on Thursday.

Protesters are calling for the resignation of the interior minister, police chief and tourism minister as a result of Jonada’s death.


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