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Saturday, 29 June, 2002, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
Guns found on Albanian royal
Crowd greets Leka Zog
Leka Zog was greeted by several hundred monarchists
Police in Albania have found weapons in the suitcases of Leka Zog, the son of former King Zog.

Leka Zog returned to Albania from exile on Friday, having been granted an amnesty earlier this month for his part in unrest five years ago during a referendum on the future of the monarchy.

An advisor to Leka Zog said that the weapons found by the police - which numbered almost 90 - were trophies and presents, and that Leka Zog was an arms collector.

The police are still investigating, but said some fairly new grenades and a Kalashnikov rifle were among the weapons found.

Guns allegedly found at Zog's home
South African police allegedly found these guns at his home
Two guns were also seized from Leka Zog's South African bodyguards.

"Albanian police were not informed of the presence of arms in the luggage and carried out the necessary verifications," police chief Bilbil Mema told AFP news agency.

Leka Zog could face up to five years in prison if found guilty of illegal arms possession.

He was investigated for involvement in arms deals in South Africa in 1999 after police discovered a cache of 70 weapons with 14,000 rounds of ammunition in his home.

Tears of joy

Leka Zog was greeted on his return to Tirana by several hundred monarchists instead of the hoped-for thousands, and thanked the authorities for letting him return.

Leka Zog
Zog thanked the authorities for allowing him back
He was accompanied by his mother, who wept with joy, and his son.

The family plan to live in a villa in the capital close to government headquarters, a spokesman said.

Leka Zog, who was only two days old when his family fled Albania during the Italian invasion in 1939, has lived in South Africa for much of the past 20 years.

He fled the country again amid rioting following the 1997 referendum and a court later found him guilty in absentia of organising an armed uprising.

Two-thirds of Albanian voters rejected the restoration of the monarchy in a referendum held that year.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Christen Thomson
"It is unlikely that Leka will ever be crowned King in Albania"
See also:

28 Jun 02 | Europe
07 Feb 99 | Africa
27 Jun 02 | Country profiles
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