Man found guilty of helping Mill Hill murderers

Egle Rameikaite reports on the conviction of Mirjan Ismaili for perverting the course of justice

Mirjan Ismaili – (Credit – Met Police)

A man has been found guilty of helping two murderers conceal their tracks after two men were killed in Mill Hill in December 2019.

Mirjan Ismaili, 52, of no fixed address, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice following a trial at Isleworth Crown Court on Tuesday, 28th February. 

According to testimony Ismaili rushed to assist his friend Besnik Berisha in immediately following the murders of Shkelqim Paja and Arber Fesko on 19 December 2019.

Berisha and a second man, Kiziku Tuwizana, had attacked and fatally stabbed Shkelqim and Arber after ambushing them in Courtlands Avenue, Mill Hill at around 8pm that evening.

After the murderers split up, Berisha took Shkelqim’s body to a remote location near Elstree and dumped it there. Within 30 minutes of the murder, Berisha called Ismaili, who rushed from his home in Ecclesbourne Close, N13, and drove in his BMW car to meet him.

Over the next nine hours, CCTV cameras captured the van and Ismaili’s BMW driving in convoy to various locations across London as they attempted to dispose of evidence. 

The white Peugeot van, used to discard the body, was left in Carson Road in Barnet at around 3am the night after the murder. 

Later on, the BMW was seen driving towards Berisha’s home in Friern Barnet.  Ismaili then returned home. However, on his return Ismaili chose not the park his car in the space outside his address but to leave it some distance away and walk home. Footage from his Ring doorbell around the time of his arrival home was deleted in an attempt to cover his tracks. 

The following day, Ismaili left the country via Eurotunnel on a pre-planned family trip but did not return as planned on 2 January 2020. Instead, he disappeared and nothing was heard from him until his BMW was found by Italian police in February 2020. It was returned to the UK and forensically examined, with traces of Shkelqim Paja’s blood being discovered.

An arrest warrant was issued and Ismaili was subsequently detained in Switzerland – he was extradited back to the UK in November 2021. 

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Rawlinson from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command said, “Mirjan Ismaili did not murder Shkelqim Paja and Arber Fesko but he played an integral part in trying to ensure those who did evaded detection.”

He added: “He deliberately wiped his doorbell footage and then fled the UK for two years. It is clear that he knew what Berisha and Tuwizana had done; he willingly tried to assist them in disposing of evidence, and now he has rightly been held to account for his actions.”

Mirjan Ismaili was due to be sentenced at the Isleworth Crown Court on Thursday 2nd March.

No news is bad news 

Independent news outlets like ours – reporting for the community without rich backers – are under threat of closure, turning British towns into news deserts. 

The audiences they serve know less, understand less, and can do less. 

If our coverage has helped you understand our community a little bit better, please consider supporting us with a monthly, yearly or one-off donation. 

Choose the news. Don’t lose the news.

Monthly direct debit 

Annual direct debit

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month. £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else. £84 annual supporters get a print copy by post and a digital copy of each month's before anyone else.

Donate now with Pay Pal

More information on supporting us monthly 

More Information about donations