Coming on the heels of a retrial later this year of KLA commander and former Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj, by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, an enormous can of worms is about to burst open.
Last month, Antifascist Calling reported that Hashim Thaçi, the current Prime Minister of the breakaway Serb province, and other members of the self-styled Drenica Group, were accused by Council of Europe investigators of running a virtual mafia state.
According to Swiss parliamentarian Dick Marty, the Council’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, Thaçi,
For his part, Thaçi has repudiated the allegations and has threatened to sue Marty for libel. Sali Berisha, Albania’s current Prime Minister and Thaçi’s close ally, dismissed the investigation as a “completely racist and defamatory report,” according to The New York Times.
That’s rather rich coming from a politician who held office during the systematic looting of Albania’s impoverished people during the “economic liberalization” of the 1990s.
At the time, Berisha’s Democratic Party government urged Albanians to invest in dodgy pyramid funds, massive Ponzi schemes that were little more than fronts for drug money laundering and arms trafficking.
More than a decade ago, Global Research analyst Michel Chossudovsky documented how the largest fund, “VEFA Holdings had been set up by the Guegue ‘families’ of Northern Albania with the support of Western banking interests,” even though the fund “was under investigation in Italy in 1997 for its ties to the Mafia which allegedly used VEFA to launder large amounts of dirty money.”
By 1997, two-thirds of the Albanian population who believed fairy tales of capitalist prosperity spun by their kleptocratic leaders and the IMF, lost some $1.2 billion to the well-connected fraudsters. When the full extent of the crisis reached critical mass, it sparked an armed revolt that was only suppressed after the UN Security Council deployed some 7,000 NATO troops that occupied the country; more than 2,000 people were killed.
Today the Berisha regime, like their junior partners in Pristina, face a new legitimacy crisis.
As the World Socialist Web Site reported, mass protests broke out in Tirana last week, with more than 20,000 demonstrators taking to the streets, after a nationally broadcast report showed a Deputy Prime Minister from Berisha’s party “in secretly taped talks, openly negotiating the level of bribes to back the construction of a new hydroelectric power station.”
As is the wont of gangster states everywhere, “police responded with extreme violence against the demonstrators; three people died and dozens were injured.”
While the charges against Thaçi and his confederates are shocking, evidence that these horrific crimes have been known for years, and suppressed, both by the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) and by top American and German officials–the political mandarins pulling Balkan strings–lend weight to suspicions that a protective wall was built around their protégés; facts borne out by subsequent NATO investigations, also suppressed.
Leaked Military Intelligence Reports
On Monday, a series of NATO reports were leaked to The Guardian. Military intelligence officials, according to investigative journalist Paul Lewis, identified Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi as one of the “‘biggest fish’ in organised crime in his country.”
Marked “Secret” by NATO spooks, Lewis disclosed that the 2004 reports also “indicate that the US and other western powers backing Kosovo’s government have had extensive knowledge of its criminal connections for several years.”
According to The Guardian, the files, tagged “‘USA KFOR’ … provide detailed information about organised criminal networks in Kosovo based on reports by western intelligence agencies and informants,” and also “identify another senior ruling politician in Kosovo as having links to the Albanian mafia, stating that he exerts considerable control over Thaçi, a former guerrilla leader.”
As noted above, with the Council of Europe demanding a formal investigation into charges that Thaçi’s criminal enterprise presided over a grisly traffic in human organs and exerted “violent control” over the heroin trade, it appears that the American and German-backed narco statelet is in for a very rough ride.
In the NATO reports, The Guardian revealed that Thaçi “is identified as one of a triumvirate of ‘biggest fish’ in organised criminal circles.”....