Homeless Edmund Nela acquitted of murdering Strood father-of-two Edmund Nela shot in Hove street
A man has today been cleared of murdering a Strood father-of-two who was shot in the street.
Edmund Nela had denied shooting dead Xhem Krasniqi - known as Jim - in Hove, East Sussex.
The homeless 32-year-old was also charged with shooting the dead man's nephew, Kelmed Murataj, and brother, Ismail Zeleni.
Edmund Nela has been cleared of murdering Strood father Xhem Krasniqi
He was this afternoon cleared of murder, two counts of attempted murder, possessing a 9mm pistol and possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
The court heard the shooting was a result of a history of "bad blood" between the victim and defendant's families following a boxing match at the Brighton Racecourse in February last year.
Mr Murataj and Mr Zeneli said Mr Nela had shot at them as they got out of a BMW on May 18 last year.
Mr Zeneli said Mr Nela acted "like an army man" when firing the gun.
Xhem Krasniqi, from Strood, died after being shot in the street
But Mr Nela said the shots were accidentally fired as he tussled with a man who "blocked" him.
The day after the shooting, Mr Nela left the country by sailing from Brighton Marina to France, before heading to Brussels and eventually Italy.
He was arrested at Gatwick upon his return from Milan.
Scaffolder Mr Krasniqi, a 32-year-old Albanian national, worked as a doorman at the Casino Rooms in Rochester.
Police at the spot where Xhem Krasniqi was shot in Hove. Picture: The Argus
His widow earlier wept as she told Hove Crown Court she never got the chance to say goodbye.
Lafteria Krasniqi said the last time she saw husband Xhem alive he was asleep on the sofa.
The mother-of-two heard him leave their relatives' home in Hove where they were staying, but never saw him again.
She said: "I didn't even get to say goodbye. There was no arrangement to go out. Normally he would tell me."
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