Close family members of Nazim Bllaca, the key witness in the “Bllaca 2” process, testified that they received threats after he confessed about his involvement with SHIK.
Idriz Bllaca, the father of the self-professed former Kosovo Secret Service, SHIK, agent, Nazim Bllaca, during his testimony at Pristina’s District Court on Friday said that he met the people who ordered his son’s assassination after he testified about the alleged crimes he committed for SHIK.
In the process known as “Bllaca 2”, six defendants, Sadik Abazi, Shaban Syla, Bekim Syla, Driton Hajdari, Fahredin Uka and Fahredin Gashi are charged – based on Bllaca’s testimony - with killing Salih Gashi, and with two counts of attempted murder.
Gashi was shot dead on June 15, 1999, apparently because he was a Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, activist. The LDK, then led by Kosovo’s first president, Ibrahim Rugova, was the main political opposition to the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK.
Previously, Nazim Bllaca testified that the accused men were former members of SHIK, an allegation that all of them denied.
Testifying on Friday, Bllaca’s father Idriz recalled how he was trying to save his son from being killed.
“I was in the houses of Hysri Rama, and Shaban Syla. Because Shaban paid Hysri Rama to kill Nazim,” Idriz Bllaca said.
He explained that the visits occurred between 2007 and 2009, as his son fled the country out of fear for his life following his testimony to the prosecution.
In 2009 Kosovo was shaken by the revelations of the alleged SHIK agent Bllaca about the activities of the former secret service. Bllaca also admitted having murdered an Albanian who had collaborated with the Serbian authorities back in 1999.
One former Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, soldier Fahredin Gashi was sentenced to 18 years, following Bllaca’s testimony.
Bllaca’s brother Osman testified about the threats the family received from the suspects. He said he was present when some of the defendants came to their home to talk to his father Idriz.
“In 2007, they came to my father’s house to tell him that he should advise Nazim not to talk, otherwise the family will be harmed…I was there, and I can tell you that Fahredin Gashi, Shpresim Uka, Driton Hajdari and Reshat Gashi, delivered the message,” he said.
“I remember pretty well that Fahredin Gashi’s said ‘if I go to jail, you will all have problems’,” Osman added.
Osman Bllaca told the court that his brother had some psychological problems during 2002-2003, and that he was treated by psychiatrists Fatmir Xhelili.
“But he’s doing fine now,” he said.
Fatmir Xhelili, is currently a member of Kosovo’s Parliament and a senior official of the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo. In the interview Bllaca gave to BIRN in November last year, he alleged that Dr Xhelili was a high-ranking SHIK official.
The SHIK emerged from the ranks of the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, following the end of the war with Serbia in 1999, and then became the intelligence arm of the now ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK.
The secret service is widely believed to have eliminated the PDK’s political rivals during 2000 and 2001, though this was not proven in court.
SHIK claimed in June 2008 that it had officially disbanded.
But a US expert on Albanian issues, David Phillips, released a report back in 2010 on the agency, quoting an anonymous source claiming that the supposedly defunct body was still receiving $200 million a year from bribery, extortion, racketeering, and protection services.
The former head of SHIK, Kadri Veseli, in a rare TV appearance in 2009, said that different businesses financed the SHIK and denied any links to political murders.
The “Bllaca 2” process will continue on Monday, when is expected that Idriz Bllaca wlll finish his testimony.