EULEX knows who is responsible for murder of journalist?

Members of the EULEX who were investigating the murder of journalist Xhemail Mustafa considered the behind that assassination is Nazim Bllaca, a paid killer.

Source: UNS, Jelena L. Petkovic
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(Thinkstock)

He is today a protected witness of the EULEX, learns the Journalists’ Association of Serbia (UNS).

Unidentified assailants killed Xhemail Mustafa, in front of his apartment in Pristina on November 23, 2000.

There is no fundamental investigation on Mustafa's murder to date, although the UNS source, which is very credible in his capacity, believes that that EULEX has a lot of knowledge about that murder.

Bllaca, a penitent witness, who helped EULEX to raise four large indictments for murders and organized crime, placing in the center Azem Syla, former head of the KLA command, later a senior leader the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) led by Hashim Thaci.

- Bllaca was an assassin who stood behind every big, well-paid murder, whether they were orders from the top of the parties formed from the KLA faction, and led by Hashim Thaci and Ramush Haradinaj, or high-ranking Kosovo politicians as Azem Syla, Gani Geci and Fatmir Limaj. Bllaca committed the most egregious and heinous murders that occurred in Kosovo from 1998 to 2005, a high-ranking source from international missions, said to the UNS.

In order to verify these allegations, the UNS addressed Nazim Bllaca attorney and EULEX for permission to interview a protected witness. Blaca's attorney Burhan Qosha responded to the UNS that for the approval is needed to address to EULEX, while EULEX replied that they could not approve such an interview.

We have also asked EULEX if there is an information that Bllaca is behind the murder of Xhemail Mustafa and whether he is eventually responsible for the murder of other journalists? We asked if EULEX will prosecute Bllace for the murder of Mustafa and is it expected to launch an investigation in this case? We did not get an answer from EULEX.

Taking over the investigation - from Lumezi to Lumezi

Xhemail Mustafa was killed by two unidentified assailants in front of his apartment in Pristina on November 23, 2000. Immediately after the murder, two men were taken into detention, but according to UNMIK police, an indictment was not filed against them.

Susane Manuel, a spokeswoman for the UN, said that the police were investigating people, and that they have “several witnesses and possible suspects and to review ballistic findings." According to the UNS, the police conducted the case carefully, without giving any details of the inquiry, and, as we were told, the police was facing with "a conspiracy of silence, false traces and false statements".

Aleksander Lumezi, now Chief Prosecutor of Kosovo, was deputy and acting chief prosecutor at the Public Prosecutor's Office in Pristina from 2005 to 2010, Chief Prosecutor of the District Prosecutor's Office in Pristina until 2012, and then the Chief Prosecutor of the Kosovo Appellate Prosecutor's Office from 2013 to 2015. While the prosecution was under the auspices of UNMIK, he took over the investigation into the murder of Xhemail Mustafa. However, he told the UNS that, shortly after the start of the investigation into the murder of Xhemail Mustafa, the Special Prosecution of Kosovo, then under the full authority of EULEX, requested that they take over this case.

- Yes, I asked to gather information about the murder of an intellectual, a writer Xhemail Mustafa. After obtaining the information that was in the files of the UNMIK police and the Kosovo Police, I decided to take some steps. But the head of the Special Prosecutor's Office of Kosovo requested that this case be transferred to that Prosecution Office and to be handed over to international prosecutors. So far, there is no conclusion about this case - says Aleksander Lumezi for UNS.

In 2012, it was announced that the authorities were close to arresting Mustafa's killers, who were identified as "a member of parliament" and a "police officer". But on that everyting remained.

EULEX conducted an investigation of the assassination of Xhemail Mustafa under the number of PPP 21/11 and is now in the process of handing over investigative documents to the Special Prosecutor's Office of Kosovo, whose chief prosecutor in the meantime became Lumezi.

He told the UNS that he "considers all investigations into the murder of journalists as - open."

Political murder

Xhemail Mustafa was born on August 23, 1953 in the village of Glamnik near Podujevo. He was 47 when he was killed, leaving wife and children behind him. All these years, for his colleagues and friends, it was clear where the traces of murder lead.

- Mustafa's murder is the third unsolved political murder after the war in Kosovo that has shaken the political scene. Xhemail Mustafa, besides being a journalist, was a political adviser to former Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova and a member of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK). Several years ago, it was announced that an investigation of this murder was in the initial phase. It was also said that the deputy of the Assembly of Kosovo was involved in this murder, but the investigation and the truth about these allegations have never been completed - says to UNS, Mimoza Lakna, editor of "Bota Sot" ("The World Today").

She recalls that Bota Sot journalists were the most common targets of post-war crimes. Since the end of the war, three journalists - associates of "Bota Sot" - have been killed, those murders have not been illuminated.

Intelligence circuits

Xhemail Mustafa is one of the first members of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), he was political adviser to Ibrahim Rugova (president of Kosovo) and one of the frist figthers for Kosovo's independence. Just before the killing, he wrote articles condemning criminal violence in Kosovo that arose after the end of the war.

He was killed a month after the Democratic League of Kosovo won a convincing victory in the local elections in October 2000, winning 58 percent of voters' support. A series of assassinations of senior officials of the party followed. From the beginning, it was suspected that they were committed by someone from the KLA, and according to the UNS, this was confirmed by information from foreign military intelligence services.

The British and Swedish intelligence services interviewed those who survived the attempted murders and torture. The police questioned Fetah Rudi, who was in a wheelchair after being wounded in an ambush near Malisheva and Ymer Ymeri, who testified that he was arrested by the KLA and mentioned the names of alleged killers of his brother Haki Ymeri.

The relevant media in Pristina and various KFOR intelligence units found that during and after the war, more than 100 members of the LDK were killed or wounded because of their political affiliation. Among them is a journalist Enver Maloku.

The 2010. EULEX report says that the killing of former LDK officials, but also some other officials from political and ethnic motives, was carried out by a well-organized and funded organization. But no one from EULEX wanted to disclose the name of the alleged organization suspected of committing the killings.

Repentance of Nazim Bllaca

Nazim Bllaca shocked the public when he stated in 2009. that as a former member of the Kosovo Intelligence Service (ShIK) was a member of a group of executions of the service, which, as he pointed out, worked closely with the PDK, and which, he said, was at that point led by Xhavit Haliti.

Bllaca stated that this group killed people who were believed to have collaborated with Belgrade or were seen as political enemies. In an interview with AFP he said that he was the perpetrator of one of those murders. As head of the group for executions, he marked Azem Syla who responded that Bllaca was a "psychopath and a Serb spy".

In 2013. Pristina newspaper "Express" writes that the two main witnesses of the EULEX prosecution in the case of political killings after 1999. in Kosovo Nazim Bllaca and Shkumbin Mehmeti (convicted of killing two UNMIK policemen in the March Pogrom in 2004), gave up the statements previously given to the prosecution, after learning that the mission would not investigate post-war political killings.

At the beginning of this year, Shkumbin Mehmeti, in an interview with TV Klan Kosova, accused brothers Qerim and Ibrahim Kelmendi for organizing political killings and added that he was "certain that someone in that group had contact with the killer" of journalist Xhemail Mustafa.

Crime

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