News 30 May 12

Bllaca: Thaci Should be Asked About SHIK

The self-professed former Kosovo Secret Service, SHIK, agent, Nazim Bllaca, says that Kosovo’s Prime Minister should be asked about the now defunct organisation.

Fatmir Aliu
BIRN
Pristina

Bllaca testified that he could not describe how was the secret service organized, and claimed that he was just a hit man, during the latest hearing at Pristina’s District Court at the trial concerning the activities of the former intelligence service.

“I was an assassin.  Who were the directors or how they were organized within SHIK I could not tell you…I’m too small fish to be able to answer such questions. But you should go and ask Hashim [Thaci],” Bllaca said.

“I can only tell you about our group. We woke up in the morning, and followed someone, until we killed him. That is what I can tell you about SHIK, that it killed people,” he added.

In 2009 Kosovo was shaken by the revelations of the alleged former SHIK agent Bllaca who 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. 

A second process was opened, known as “Bllaca 2”, where six suspects Sadik Abazi, Shaban Syla, Bekim Syla, Driton Hajdari, Fahredin Uka and Fahredin Gashi were 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.

The defence lawyers questioned Bllaca about the organizational structure of the secret service.

“I know that at the top of it [SHIK] was Kadri Veseli, Fatmir Xhelili and Ferat Shala. I never met Kadri Veseli, but the two others I have met,” he told the court.

The defence has asked that Bllaca provide the court with some kind of evidence that would confirm that he was actually part of the former intelligence agency.

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 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.

 

 

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