By Dashnor Kaloçi
Memorie.al / The Special Operative Group that was created immediately after the arrest of the former Minister of the Interior, Kadri Hazbiu and his deputy, Feçor Shehu, in mid-October 1982, headed by the Deputy Minister of Works of the Interior, Zylyftar Ramizi, and as his subordinates he had Enver Zeneli and Hasan Ulqinak, among other measures, such as; the study and analysis of a large number of archival files, which belonged to a long period of time (1945-1982), appealed to and asked some of the former senior officials of the PPSh leadership and former cadres senior leaders of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, State Security officers, etc., to give in writing, what they knew, or had doubts, regarding the “hostile activity” of Kadri Hazbiu, Feçor Shehu, or other persons, with whom they were connected by work or not, during the period that they had served at that ministry, or in the Interior Branches in the districts, in the Political Intelligence sector, at our diplomatic missions accredited in different countries the world, etc.
Among the former high-ranking officials of the PPSh and the leading cadres and officers of the State Security, etc., who responded to this call, giving their written testimonies to the Special Operative Group, were: Liri Belishova, (former member of the Political Bureau and secretary of the PPS Central Committee for propaganda, art and culture), Nesti Kerenxhi, (former Major General, Director of State Security and Minister of Internal Affairs), Xhule Çiraku (former General major, Director of Security and Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs), Rexhep Kolli (former Major General, Director of State Security and Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs), Zija Kambo (former Major General and commander of Guards of the Republic), Zoi Themeli (former Major-General, Director of State Security and Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs), Nevzat Haznedari, (former Major-General and Head of Investigation at the Ministry of Internal Affairs), Hekuran Pobrati (former colonel and senior officer of the State Security), Feti Smokthina (former colonel and Commander of the Republic Guard), Zylfi Saliu (former colonel, senior officer of the State Security, head of the Internal Department in several districts, deputy of the People’s Assembly), Lelo Sinaj, (former major officer and Director of State Security), Halil Zeneli (former colonel of the Security and head of the Internal Branch in several districts), Ilo Manushi (major officer and head of the Directorate of Personnel of the Ministry of the Interior), Xhemal Bejto Fasllia, (former senior officer of the State Security in the Ministry of the Interior), Ibrahim Kubati (former senior staff, sentenced to political prison, together with his brother , Ali Kubati, former vice-president of the Executive Committee of Tirana, friend and close friend of Myslym Keta), Mark Dodani (former lieutenant colonel and senior officer of the State Security), etc., etc.
Continues from last issue
From the letters in question sent to the address of the Special Operative Group at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, or personally to Minister Hekuran Isai, in the years 1982-1983, in the previous issues, we have published the letters of Liri Belishova, Hekuran Pobrati and Mark Dodan, in In this article, we have selected for publication the letter of Ibrahim Kubati, addressed to the Directorate of Internal Affairs of Tirana, (the branch of the Security), which is dated November 19, 1982, a few days after he was released from Spaçi prison, ( with the amnesty that was granted at that time by the People’s Assembly of Albania), where he was serving his sentence since 1980, as a political prisoner.
Ibrahim Kubati, an agronomist by profession and a graduate in Bulgaria, for several years had served as the director of hunting reserves in several districts of the country, where the senior leadership of the PPS went for hunting (Dajt, Kune-Vain. Velipoje, Divjakë, Elbasan, Librazhd, Karaburun, Korçë, etc.) and he was also known as a close man of Kadri Hazbiu, who often took him with him when he went hunting. Ibrahimi was arrested (in 1980) as part of a “hostile group”, which also included his brother, Ali Kubati (former vice-president of the Tirana District Executive Committee), Bardhyl Mano, or as he was otherwise known as; Lola Mano (former high-ranking official with several state duties), Edip Ohri, (former colonel, commander of the Combat Aviation of Albania and deputy in the People’s Assembly), Sabri Pilkati (former prosecutor and vice-chairman of the Executive Committee of Tirana), Shyqëri Këllezi, (son of Abdyl Këllezi’s uncle, former personal companion of Enver Hoxha during the War and then General Director of the Railways), who were sentenced to long years of political imprisonment.
All the members of this “hostile group”, in addition to being close friends with each other, also had Krushki connections (Sabri Pilkati, married Myslym Keta’s sister, Edip Ohri, married the sister of Ali and Ibrahim Kubati, while Myslym Keta, his wife was the sister of Bardhyl Manos), had also been Myslym Keta’s friends and closest friends (“Hero of the People”), since the War period, as members of Tirana’s guerilla units and partisan formations, friendship which they had maintained even after his “accidental” death (in 1966), continuing it, until the day they were arrested. This group of friends also included Colonel Adnan Qatipi and Safet Kurti, (former members of the guerilla units with Myslym Keta) who were not arrested like the others, (which, due to the intrigues of the Security, made cast a shadow of doubt on them), but they also had problems, being fired from their duties, or retiring (Safet Kurti), not yet 50 years old!
As we will see from the said letter of Ibrahim Kubati, during the investigative process, the investigators insisted that he accept the accusation, where it was said that they, the members of that group, in conversations between themselves and with others, expressed that; Myslym Keta had not died accidentally, but he had been eliminated by the State Security, as the senior leadership was very afraid of him. This fact, which was rumored even during the period of the communist regime, is also known by the former senior officer of the State Security, Lt. Col. Mark Dodani, in the letter he sent to Minister Hekuran Isai in 1982. where he shows that; in 1965, he was summoned by the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Major General Rexhep Kolli (who was also the Director of State Security), who tasked him with killing Myslym This time, after Lymi had committed treason, he wanted to escape from Albania.
For that, Rexhep Kolli had also shown Mark the written order, signed by the Minister of Defense, Lieutenant General Beqir Balluku and the Minister of Internal Affairs, Lieutenant General Kadri Hazbiu. While we learned about these in the three previous articles from Mark Dodani’s letter, regarding the conversations of Myslym Keta’s friends and closest friends (Edip Ohri, Bardhyl Mano, Sabri Pilkati and Ibrahim and Ali Kubati), as well as about what the investigation asked of them, etc., we know Ibrahim Kubati’s letter, (published for the first time by Memorie.al), which we think sheds light on the mystery of the death of the “People’s Hero”, Myslym Keta, one of the most talked about events since 1966, but it also reveals the reports and relationships that the members of that group had with each other!
ARCHIVE DOCUMENT WITH THE LETTER OF IBRAHIM KUBAT, JUST RELEASED FROM SPACI PRISON WITH THE AMNESTY OF 1982, SENT TO THE MINISTER OF INTERIOR AFFAIRS, HEKURAN ISAI
ON CERTAIN MATTERS RELATING TO THE INVESTIGATIVE PROCESS AGAINST ME AND OTHER PERSONS ASSOCIATED WITH ME
I will try to be rational and concise in my writing, although I fear I will not fully achieve this objective.
I have been grinding in myself for a long time, to express what I feel and think, but I have not been able to. I tried to act in this way during the investigation, but it did not go well for me, as well as during the period of serving the sentence. Comrade Enver’s speech before the voters gave me strong impulses, clarified the questions that had accumulated in my head and strengthened my conviction to materialize the decision made by me, to address you only to the Party.
The two meetings I had with you and my early release, changed things and are forcing me to turn to you, with the conviction that I can shed light on some pressing issues, very important for the Party. I know how to distinguish “personal” from “general”. I am not good with personal problems, the balance is negative. A mother who died (or “killed me”), five divorces, three prison terms, expulsions from the Party, other family disturbances and, above all, the great worry of an “ex-enemy”, seen by others, and why not and the killing of conscience for the mistakes made by me, both before and after the arrest (in the investigator).
I wrote these things to clarify the situation and not to excuse myself and ask for alms. I made a firm decision to start life over, to benefit only from the “general” (which I will talk about below). By the way, I want to make a clarification: that friend of yours (whose name I don’t know and may even be your superior), who I met in Spaç, gave me a hint, whether I’m good or not from mint! Now I’m used to shouldering a lot of things, so I swallowed that insult too. I’m trying from now on, to restrain myself, but I say that anyone who was in my place, going through those vicissitudes could have been avoided. The truth is, I have emotions, even strong ones, so I had with you, who were the first free people I looked at.
As for the “general”, she was not only bright but divine and has filled our hearts with joy and optimism. It belongs to me and my children too, and he has no strength to deny it to me. I feel it in my soul, I see it in people and surprisingly I also saw it in many prisoners in Spaç and on the way when we were released, how they called and cheered with the leader’s name in their mouths. I don’t want to campaign or advertise, but Enver Hoxha has become an attribute of the Party and the people, and that means a lot.
Before I start on the investigative issues, I will make a clarification and I will express my opinion, which may be wrong. When you look at me to show your thoughts and suggestions about the investigation, Christopher, I was surprised, after I had clarified all the problems and there were not one or two investigators, but six, who acted collectively and who knew everything.
Second, during the period that I stayed in the “stash”, I had a lot of provocation in the style of Kristofori, and I felt that I could not do anything. I also had after Kristofor’s arrest. Then, I knew Kristofor as a member of the Party, and in the end I had no conviction that everything was going to the destination.
In Spaç, the prisoners whispered that; Comrade Enver said that until now I have put my finger in these things, but now I will put my hand in. I heard and read the speech before the voters several times, so I have formed the conviction to address you as well as the Party. I’m starting with the issue:
- The key problem of the investigation for me was the case of Lym Keta. I don’t remember exactly what I signed for this work, but I know that it was insisted at the beginning (from the first hour of the investigation) that I (Bardhyli and I) affirmed that the Security had killed Myslym Keta, among them others, that he presented a danger to the leadership, as brave as he was.
The truth was different. Bardhyli had suspected that Myslymi had not been killed (because he knew everything about him), he had even verified the problem on the spot, through Vito Koç, and it turned out to be a simple accident. Even Bardhyli did not have this opinion. But Kristofori and Bashkim Asllani were looking for exactly this.
I testified that Bardhyli said at that time, that the leader did not visit the family in the case of death. Not even Mehmet Shehu. But the latter stayed close to the family, sent him his car, I think he also got a loan for the construction of the house. Only Kadri Hazbiu, who considered himself his friend and was nearby, visited him. I remember that there was another one in the cell with me, whose name was Hasan. Among the provocations he often gave me, Myslym Keta mentioned that if he were alive, he would wreak havoc in defense of Beqir Balluk, etc., etc.
Once I told my interrogator, a word I had heard from my brother, and it seems to me that it was said by Baba Myslimi: “What do you have with Myslym Keta, he was brave, but like him he had dozens and hundreds of Tirana” and I added from myself, that his figure is getting too inflated. I said all this, that I am convinced that the figure of Myslym Keta was fabricated, deformed by traitors, such as Mehmet Shehu and Kadri Hazbiu, to use him for their diabolical purposes.
I also testified to the investigator that I knew from Bardhyli that he and his friends suspected my brother, Ali, that he had not denounced them to Kadriu; but they had calmed down later, exactly when he had returned from Germany and had said bad words to them, addressed to Safet Kurti, said by Kadri Hazbiu.
Kadri Hazbi’s words about Safet, I don’t remember exactly, but more or less, they were these; why do you keep him close, he is not a good friend, etc. Bardhyli interpreted these words as a message from Kadri, to be protected by Safeti, because according to him, Safeti had sued Myslym Keta.
I have known and met Kadri Hazbiu twice, when he took me with the tasks of hunting and hunting reserves, in Kune and Vain. I know very well that he hunted and kept close to my brother, as well as Bardhyl (Mano), etc., (about my brother, I do not add the question, because I will deal with this issue later).
Kadri Hazbiu knew the views of Bardhyl, Sabri (Pilkati), since long ago, from Asllan Haka. Then why did he keep these people close, why do you agree with Bardhyl, but also Mehmet Shehu, who hunted with Bardhyl? Why then, at an opportune moment, they lynched them, i.e., threw them into orbit, to fulfill their goals?!
- After it was proved that I was not an agent of the Bulgarians, I was transferred to the counter-revolutionary organization. I was told that I did not know this, but they had brought me in and I should definitely help. Comrade Enver’s life was in danger and I should have been more worried, killed my mind, remembered every detail and helped him. And in this period, they treated me as a friend and convinced me that Bardhyli is an agent of UDB. With mine, I remembered everything, made assumptions, mentioned names, etc., etc. Late one evening, Kristofori (Mëtiro) and Bashkimi (Asllani), called me very shocked, to help them seriously, to prove that Bardhyli is an agent. I noticed that everything was staged; they were still very worried at this point.
Then it was transferred to the mock-up of the counter-revolutionary organization. The model was built by Bashkimi (Asllani), during a whole night with me. I wrote it and if it was true, they would be verified, otherwise I had no reason to be afraid. The mockup contained, in the form of theses, the main goals of the organization, aimed at liquidating the leadership of Comrade Enver, by all means, with weapons, poison, etc. Replacing our power with the revisionist one, and other things that I don’t remember. But the model fell down and was not confirmed.
As far as I remember about the model, there was talk again about Myslym Keta, Bardhylin and Oedipus (Ohrin). The mockup was left to me to keep in the isolation room and I questioned all of them, which makes the Union very hot and angry. In the mockup, all the names of my family were mentioned, which I will talk about later. Even though the model fell down, I remember that certain expressions of it were included in the other minutes, as well as my participation, of Bardhyl, of Oedipus, actively for the overthrow of popular power.
- In the minutes kept and to some extent in the trial, emphasis is placed only on the statements that hurt the figure of the leader and the statements directed against Mehmet Shehu, Kadri Hazbiu, and others were left out. As I explained in the investigator, Edip Ohri spoke badly about Mehmet Shehu, and attributed everything to him.
At that time, I explained this to the investigators and told them that this is related to the fact that Oedipus has gone bad with Mehmet and, especially, with his brother, Duro Shehu, who was Party Secretary for Aviation. He was removed, while Oedipus wanted to work without salary, even for this, he had the intention or wanted to turn to friend Hysni (I don’t remember if he turned to you or not).
In the same way, Edip Ohri also spoke badly about the Security officers, Kadri Hazbiu, and this angered the investigators (Bashkim) more than other statements. He used to say that; The Security agencies will give an account that it was not the coup groups, the other saboteurs who discovered it, but the leader. The investigator focused a lot on the problem of assigning the Aviation field in Zadrima, asking me, how I knew this problem, why does Oedipus object to being in Mallakastër, or elsewhere! I hardly understood this matter and I told him that this was explained by my friend Enver. Although they attached great importance to this problem, as far as I remember, it was not reflected in the processes held.
Throughout the investigation process, you insist on the role of Myslim Keta. I have heard a story from Bardhyli, how Muslim Keta, while hunting once in a boat, had left the boat in the spill of a river in the sea, they were stuck for several hours, until they were rescued by the border companions. But I had forgotten this story. The union wanted me to admit that this was an escape attempt.
- He even insisted that Myslimi and Bardhyli had drawn up the plan to attempt on the life of the main leader and to escape. Of course, this variant was not proven. Then they insisted that I declare that Bardhyli wanted to escape. I told him that I heard that they wanted to go on a tour with Muslim Keta, that’s all.
I told him that Bardhyli is adventurous in the sense of fun, but not for escape. On this point, Kristofori, Bashkimi, and my brother’s investigator (I think his name is Zaçe) insisted a lot, they even told me that, I am not honest, according to my brother, he admitted that Bardhyli wanted to escape. This point has lasted a long time, so much so that my brother’s investigator brought me a manuscript from my brother, in the presence of the Union, and said: “Do you know your brother’s handwriting?” and he told me to read in a line where, indeed, the word escape stood out.
When I received the charge sheet, I was very shocked and asked to meet my investigator. Reshat Velaj (Leskaj) and investigator Marku are coming with me. I told him that the indictment, or indictment, is very strong and contains unknown things. Reshat, in the presence of Mark, advised me to stand up without fear, and say a statement of Sabri (Pilkati), and recorded in the indictment, where it is said: “We were for the physical liquidation of the leader”.
- I was horrified as he laughed and sent me away. It seems that the next day, Cristofori called me, I told him that I say this expression of Sabri, that it is not true. He told me that that expression has a figurative meaning and in no way, let’s not say it, because Reshat had told me wrong.
He told me that the division into groups is like this. The first group has heavier penalties, while for the second group, where I was, the penalties were reduced. I remembered at the moment, that in the first group I had a brother; he was silent and changed the conversation. So the Union had told me that I would be punished for 5 years. After the trial, I appealed for a reduced sentence.
Immediately after that, Kristofori and Reshat called me urgently. Reshat left we alone and he, that is, Kristofori, told me that; why did you appeal and what did I write? I explained to him, but I noticed that he calmed down a lot and said that; my sentence can be turned into a condiconel, very easily.
- During the investigation, there was also an insistence on Miço Kallamata, who was a party member in November 1941. Reshat Leskaj, in the presence of the Union, and I think also of Mark (investigator of the Ministry), spoke about the song “200 Petritave”, which you must now remove. We were impressed and I was amazed.
A lot of time passed and Michua was not arrested! At that time, in a meeting where Reshat, Bashkimi, and I think also Marku, I addressed you and said: “What are you going to do with the song of 200 Petrites?! Reshat got angry and told a story about a defendant who had read something on the table to the investigator and had asked about it later, but he did not drink water. Memorie.al
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