Case: Kosovan shot dead in a bedsit: Cima Sogojeva
Cima Sogojeva
Lundrim Gjikokaj
Status: Solved
Categories: Gang
Case synopsis:

Kosovan Albanian Cima Sogojeva, 27, was shot dead at his flat in Golders Green, north London, on October 6, 2008.

Firearms officers stormed Caroline Court on Highfield Road after neighbours reported hearing gunfire at 11.15am on October 6, 2008.

Mr Sogojeva was found lying in a praying position with six bullet wounds to his head and torso. He had also suffered stab wounds to his head and neck.

Detectives offered a 20,000 pound reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of those responsible.

On January 27, 2012, Lundrim Gjikokaj, 30 [25/6/81], also an Albanian Kosovan and based in Reading, was charged with murder. He went trial at the Old Bailey on October 2, 2012.

The prosecution told the court that Mr Sogojeva was involved in a 'lucrative theft from parking meters' in the City of Westminster.

Jurors heard Mr Sogojeva was demanding that Gjikokaj repay a debt of up to £250,000 in cash which may have been connected to the scam. Mobile phone records and the testimony of the victim's girlfriend were said to support the case.

Gjikokaj, who had also built up large gambling debts, told police he had been a close friend of the victim and had an alibi for the time of the murder. He later admitted visiting the victim minutes before the murder to give him £31,000 but claimed this was a coincidence and that he left Mr Sogojeva alive and well. However, he did not give evidence at trial.

On October 25 the jury convicted Gjikokaj of murder. He was jailed for life with a minimum of 28 years behind bars.

lundrim gjikokajCima Sogojeva

Killer Lundrim Gjikokaj (left) and victim Cima Sogojeva

Detective Chief Inspector Tim Duffield, of the MPS's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: “Lundrim Gjikokaj presented a carefully crafted alibi to the police after his arrest, cynically claiming that he had been elsewhere at the time, and that he had been a 'close friend' of the victim who claimed to be 'heartbroken' at hearing of Cima's demise.

"A detailed investigation established that Gjikokaj, a compulsive gambler, had in fact meticulously planned the fatal events, and his motivation was purely to avoid paying a significant and rapidly escalating debt. Faced with the prospect of having to answer difficult questions during the trial, he refused to give evidence to the jury."

"I hope that today’s verdict and life sentence will serve as a reminder that the Met works tirelessly in the pursuit of violent offenders, to bring them to justice, irrespective of when the crime took place."

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