"NATO knew Hashim Thaci was criminal"
|25 January 2011 | 09:30 -> 09:36 | Source: BBC, Guardian.co.uk|
|LONDON -- A London newspaper has published leaked NATO documents that describe Kosovo Albanian PM as one of the "biggest fish" in organized crime in Kosovo.|
The article also incriminates Xhavit Haliti, "a former head of logistics for the KLA who is now a close ally of the prime minister and a senior parliamentarian in his ruling PDK party", whom the Marty report named as a member of the so-called Drenica Group.
The newspaper says the NATO documents are marked secret, and reveal that America and other western backing Kosovo's government "have had extensive knowledge of its criminal connections for several years".
Haliti is linked with the Albanian mafia in the report, which also suggests that he is the person who "exerts considerable control over Thaci".
Haliti is expected to be among Kosovo's official delegation to Strasbourg tomorrow and has played a leading role in seeking to undermine the Marty report in public, writes the Guardian.
The NATO papers, said to have originated in Kosovo in 2004, also suggest that "behind his role as a prominent politician, Haliti is also a senior organized criminal who carries a Czech 9mm pistol and holds considerable sway over the prime minister"
It further says that Haliti "more or less ran a fund for the Kosovo war in the late 1990s, profiting from the fund personally before the money dried up. As a result, Haliti turned to organized crime on a grand scale."
The daily further quotes from the NATO documents to describe Haliti as "highly involved in prostitution, weapons and drugs smuggling", who "serves as a political and financial adviser to the prime minister". Haliti uses a fake passport to travel abroad because he is black-listed in several countries, including the U.S., according to this.
Haliti is further linked to the alleged intimidation of political opponents in Kosovo and two suspected murders dating back to the late 1990s, "when KLA infighting is said to have resulted in numerous killings".
"One was a political adversary who was found dead by the Kosovo border, apparently following a dispute with Haliti. A description of the other suspected murder – of a young journalist in Tirana, the Albanian capital – also contains a reference to the prime minister by name, but does not ascribe blame," writes the Guardian.
"Haliti is also named in the report by Marty, which is understood to have drawn on NATO intelligence assessments along with reports from the FBI and MI5," says the article.