The Serious Crimes Court has established that there was a close relationship between former Minister of Interior Saimir Tahiri and the Habilaj brothers, members of a criminal drug trafficking gang.
The court published its full ruling today, five weeks after it sentenced Tahiri to 5 years in prison, converted to three years of probation. All three prosecution charges against Tahiri involving drug trafficking and participation in a criminal group were dropped. He was sentenced for abusing his office.
The court found that despite Tahiri denying there was any relationship between him and the Habilajs, “from the analyzed evidence, it turns out to be the opposite.”
“There is evidence and indications that show a state of established relations and ties between the defendants” reads the ruling of the court.
Crime boss Moisi Habilaj personally engaged in repairing Tahiri’s boat
Moisi Habilaj was personally and directly engaged in taking the boat used by the Minister of Interior for repairing to Italy in September 2014. The defendant Saimir Tahiri did not provide any explanation for this.
Tahiri’s wife and father travelled with Moisi Habilaj to Italy but avoided border police electronic checks
They purposefully avoided to register their passports with the border police TIMS electronic system while they were travelling with Moisi Habilaj.
The defendant’s wife did not register with the TIMS system in two occasions while travelling abroad, once using the vehicle with plate number AA003GB (also used separately by Moisi Habilaj), and in another case when travelling at the same time with Moisi Habilaj o the same airline.
The defendant’s father was on the same trip and stayed with Moisi Habilaj. He [father] did not register with the TIMS system.
Saimir Tahiri communicated by phone with drug trafficker Moisi Habilaj and other criminal group members
Wiretaps from September 2017 show that a meeting was arranged by Kujtim Tahiri between Artan Habilaj [Moisi’s brother] and the defendant Saimir Tahiri. The dedendant Saimir Tahiri communicated with many phone numbers through which defendants in a related case Moisi Habilaj, Florian Habilaj, Armand Koçerri and Nezar Seiti communicated.
Despite the above evidence and findings, the court ruled that Saimir Tahiri was not involved in criminal activities of the Habilaj gang.