Buying independence – case Kosovo/Maldives

Few weeks ago I wrote an article “Kosovo as private property referring former Kosovo PM Haradinaj complaining that the country is transforming into private property of the leadership. The story got interesting follow-up about allegations that government officials of Maldives accepted a $2 million bribe in order for that state to recognize Kosovo independence.

The allegations were made at the beginning of March 2009 in Maldives by the opposition Islamic Democratic Party. The president of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, has ordered his police to investigate allegations. The Maldives foreign minister Ahmed Shaheed has also rejected the allegations as false. Sources: SofiaEcho and BalkanInsight


In transparency international’s corruption ranking Maldives hold place 115 in 2008 among 180 states in list.

According allegations government officials of Maldives – like FM Shaheed – accepted a $2 million bribe that was delivered by Kosovar businessman, Behgjet Pacolli, to recognise Kosovo. Behgjet Pacolli –a Swiss and Albanian citizen – is believed to be the world richest Albanian. His wealth has came quite legal sources unlike other Kosovo’s top leaders whos income is based drug trafficking, other organized crime or donations from radical Islam movements. Pacolli’s Swiss based Mabetex Group has had successful construction activities in Russia and Kazakhstan as well in Italy. He is founder of political party named “New Kosovo Alliance” (AKR) which came third in parliamentary election 2007. As politician Pacolli is a bit controversial among Kosovo leaders since he negotiated with Milosevic about peaceful solution in Kosovo 1998, he supported also negotiations with Belgrade about Kosovo status.

After Maldives recognition Kosovo is recognised as independent by 56 out of 192 UN member states. Huge pressure and lobby is made mainly by U.S. to countries who does not have yet made recognization. UN general assembly send he whole case to International Court of Justice (ICJ) to ask its opinion about the legality of the unilaterally declared independence. So far Kosovo is a province of Serbia administrated as international protectorate according UNSC resolution 1244.

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