Accessibility links

International Prosecutor Charges Kosovo President's Ally Of Leading Crime Ring


Azem Syla is a former member of parliament and prominent politician in President Hashim Thaci's (pictured) ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK).

Azem Syla is a former member of parliament and prominent politician in President Hashim Thaci's (pictured) ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK).

An international prosecutor has charged an ally of Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci with leading a crime ring responsible for a multimillion-dollar land scam and money laundering.

The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) made the charges against Azem Syla and 38 associates on October 25.

Syla is a former member of parliament and prominent politician in Thaci's ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK).

In a statement, Kosovo prosecutor's office said Syla's crime syndicate was involved in illegally acquiring public property in Kosovo worth around $33 million.

The prosecutor's office added that the 39 defendants cooperated "to deprive Kosovo of socially owned properties through criminal activities including the falsification of verdicts and of other official documents, fraud and corrupt behavior."

Prosecutors said the criminal gang had been operating since 2006.

Syla, 65, was arrested in April after he surrendered to authorities. He was a top commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army during the Kosovo War.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP
XS
SM
MD
LG