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Behgjet Pacolli
Born August 30, 1951 (1951-08-30) (age 58)
Marevce, Yugoslavia - present day Kosovo[b]
Mabetex Group

Behgjet Isa Pacolli[a] (born 30 August 1951, in Marevce, Yugoslavia - present day Kosovo[b]) is a Kosovo, Swiss and Albanian citizen and businessman of Albanian origin. For the past two years, he has been involved in Kosovar politics. He is believed to be the world's richest Albanian[1].


Early life and career

Behgjet is the son of Isa and Nazmije Pacolli. In the 1970’s, he emigrated to Hamburg, Germany where he achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, specializing in Marketing and Management. In 1974, he completed his military service and returned to Kosovo. In 1976, Pacolli moved to Switzerland where he became one of the top managers of Interplastica, an engineering and trading company dealing in chemicals and plastics and cooperating with the countries of the Soviet bloc.

In 1990, he founded Mabetex Project Management, a construction company based in Lugano, Switzerland, which has developed into a large business group now called the Mabetex Group. The group also includes the Kosovo daily tabloid Lajm, founded in 2002. Pacolli remains the President and CEO of Mabetex Group.

International Projects



In 1992, during construction projects in Yakutia, Russia, Pacolli closely cooperated with the Yakutsk mayor Pavel Borodin. When Borodin had become the presidential property manager, Mabetex was given several important contracts to reconstruct, renovate and refurbish the former Russian Federation Parliament, the Russian Opera House, State Duma and the Moscow Kremlin. Mabetex also constructed the first luxury hotel, the Swiss Diamond Hotel, in the new Russian era.[citation needed] In 1998, Prosecutor General of Russia Yuri Skuratov opened a bribery investigation against Mabetex which was dropped after he left his office, and accused Pacolli personally of bribing President Boris Yeltsin’s family members. In 2000 Pacolli sued Skuratov in a Russian court for defamation.

Between 2000 and 2001, during an investigation of money laundering by Borodin, who was detained in Switzerland, Pacolli was charged with giving bribes to Russian top officials and summoned for interrogation several times by Carla Del Ponte, at that time a Swiss magistrate. The charges were eventually dropped.[2][3][4][4][5][6]


In Italy, the Mabetex Group was responsible in the study and project for the refurbishment of the La Fenice theatre in Venice after it was burned.[7]


Mabetex is currently working in Kazakhstan where it has played and important role in the construction of the new capital Astana (ref cnn), one of the awarded projects completed there was the new Presidential Palace “Akkorda”.[citation needed]


In Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, his group constructed the award winning project for the City Hall.[citation needed]


On 17 March 2006, Pacolli founded the political party New Kosovo Alliance (AKR), which took part in the 2007 parliamentary election and came third. During these elections he declared property worth €420 million.[8]

Pacolli became a deputy in the Assembly of Kosovo and a member of the Committee for Budget and Finance. Pacolli is in favor of the independence of Kosovo, but claimed that negotiations with Serbia on Kosovo's status should not be mediated by the international community. This statement was harshly criticized by other politicians.[9]

Personal life

In Pacolli was married to Anna Oxa, an Italian singer of Albanian descent, from 1999 to 2002. At present he is married and is the father of a son and three daughters. Pacolli’s humanitarian foundation “Behgjet Pacolli” has constructed and furnished the American University in Kosovo, in Pristina.[1] Furthermore in 2004 Pacolli helped in the liberation of three UN workers taken hostage in Afghanistan. The hostages were: Shqipe Hebibi, Annette Flannigan and Anglitoo Nayan.[10]

Two years later in 2006 the Italian journalist Gabrielle Torsello was taken hostage in Afghanistan and Pacolli was contacted by his kidnappers to negotiate his liberation.[11] [12]

Pacolli also supports financially the SEED Foundation (South East European Development) and is an international councilor of the CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies).[13]

Notes and references


a.   ^ Albanian: Behgjet Isa Pacolli. Serbo-Croatian: Behđet Isa Pacoli.
b.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The Assembly of Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence on 17 February 2008, a move that is recognised by 65 of the 192 UN member states and the Republic of China (Taiwan), but not by other UN member states. Serbia claims it as part of its own sovereign territory.


  1. ^ Chris Bennett (1999). "Living The Life Of Behgjet". Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  2. ^ Илья Вукелич, Андрей Терехов (January 2006). "Балканский Мабетекс" (in Russian). Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  3. ^ Michael Wines (September 1999). "The Kremlin's Keeper, the World at His Fingertips, Is Under a Cloud". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  4. ^ a b Ian Traynor, Peter Capella (February 2000). "Swiss investigators order arrest of top Yeltsin aide". Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  5. ^ "Бородин, Павел" (in Russian). Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  6. ^ Екатерина Заподинская (August 2000). "Беджет Паколли признан чистоплотным. Он выиграл суд со Скуратовым" (in Russian). Газета «Коммерсантъ». Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  7. ^ Ricostruzione "La Fenice" - Venice
  8. ^ Kosovo politicians refuse to reveal sources of wealth, B92, 17 October 2007.
  9. ^ Mustafa, Artan. Kosovo parties mull post-election coalition. B92, 15 November 2007.
  10. ^ Stephen Graham, "The News&Observer" - 10 November 2004
  11. ^ "Corriere Della Sera" - 4 November 2006.
  12. ^ L'Espresso - 3 November 2006
  13. ^ "International Councilor" - CSIS, Center for Strategic and International Studies

External links


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