Albanian oil baron alleged to have ordered journo beating…
Last month, rumours were swirling of a bid to wrest AC Milan from the wandering hands of everyone’s favourite political liability, Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi. Albanian oligarch Rezart Taci was ready to lump €700m on the Rossoneri, claiming he’d been given first refusal by Berlusconi after putting the kibosh on a mysteriously failed takeover of Serie A side Bologna.
Fans may think Milan have it bad enough with Berlusconi – whose ‘Controversies’ section in Wikipedia is the longer than most people’s entire profiles – at the helm, but according to Spanish sports paper AS (one of the less mental ones), Taci could give him a run in the ‘shady’ stakes.
A report published yesterday alleges Taci and his bodyguards beat up (and eventually hospitalised) Albanian journalist Mero Baze, who had run a story on the oil baron’s alleged corrupt dealings with Albanian PM Sali Berisha, when buying Albania’s state-owned oil company ARMO last year:
Witnesses said Taci started to insult the journalist and then punched him, aided by his three bodyguards, who threw him to the ground and between all began to kick the head and body until he fainted.
The incident occurred in one of the capital’s downtown bars, shortly after a TV investigation, which implicated several members of the Berisha family.
Baze has written several articles about misdeeds in the privatization of state-owned ARMO oil company, bought by Taci last year, and the new owner’s illegal oil smuggling practices. He also denounced the Taci Oil company’s tax evasion.
Milan could be in for a wild ride should Taci take over – but at least he could use his interesting powers of persuasion to drag Ronaldinho out of his 3-year footballing coma.