“UN, France knew about KLA crimes”

FRANKFURT -- The UN and France knew about KLA leaders' link with the organized crime and protected and sheltered them, Frankfurt-based Serbian language daily Vesti writes.

The daily cited statements from a testimony of a well-known French criminologist, Xavier Raufer, relating to one of the Albanian mafia bosses Xhavit Haliti, who is now deputy parliament speaker.

Haliti has been linked to the worst kind of mafia activities in reports by several Western intelligence services, as well as in a recent report by NATO and in a report Dick Marty submitted to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

Raufer, a Paris-based professor of criminology, warned members of one of the committees of the French Senate already in 2003 that, after the establishment of UN administration in Kosovo, Haliti had been arrested possessing drugs and a large amount of money but had nevertheless been immediately protected and released.

According to the record from a hearing in the French Senate held on March 12, 2003, dedicated to the national fight against drugs, in which Raufer answered questions by Senator Paul Giraud, a large number of criminals arrived in Western Europe at the time of the admission of refugees from Kosovo.

The French criminologist said that a number of security officials and university professors had warned the French government not to grant Haliti visa when he had come to attend the talks on Kosovo's future in Rambouillet in 1999, stressing that Haliti was much more a mafia godfather than a small bandit-patriot, that he was a “mafioso of the first order”, one of the financiers and without any doubt the godfather of the young Hashim Thaci at the time.

Ramush Haradinaj, Thaci and Haliti all began their careers in Switzerland, which was the center of KLA activities and the place where, prior to 1999, enormous money intended for the KLA financing had been collected.