Former police officer Dritan Zagani said today Moisi Habilaj escaped from home arrest in Italy not to avoid his 15-year prison sentence but to avoid testimony against his cousin Saimir Tahiri, former Interior Minister. Habilaj was arrested in 2017 as the head of an international drug and weapons trafficking gang between Albania and Italy. A Catania court sentenced him to 15 years in prison in June 2019, but he was released from prison last year and transferred to house arrest. It is thought Moisi Habilaj breached house arrest and ran after the Court of Appeal upheld the initial decision and he would be subsequently turned back to prison.
However, former officer Zagani said Habilaj ran away to avoid testimony against Saimir Tahiri in Tirana. The former Interior Minister was accused of helping Habilaj’s gang and of international drug traffic, but was found guilty only for abuse of office. Zagani was the first to accuse Tahiri of giving his car to his cousins Habilajs to facilitate their drug smuggling. Later, Zagani was fired and left Albania to escape Tahiri’s vendetta.
Now the High Court will decide whether Tahiri’s case will be reopened, after the Special Court of Appeal ruled it’s reopening. All this makes Zagani declare Tahiri’s possible new trial is behind Habilaj’s decision to run away.
“Moisi Habilaj did not avoid serving his sentence in Italy but Tahiri’s trial in Tirana, where he would be brought as testimony”, Zagani wrote, adding that Albanian justice had requested the extradition.
“Interpol Rome put him in the extradition list to Albania around December 20 (when, according to my sources, Moisi asked for permission to see the dentist and from that moment he disappeared). So, as soon as he learnt his country of origin filed an extradition request, he ran away. Saimir was the problem, folks. That’s all from me for now, but you’ll hear from me again as soon as I have documents and updates from sure sources”.