News 11 May 12

Dick Marty Called to Testify on June 18

Despite the lack of clarity surrounding his immunity, Dick Marty has been called to testify  in the Medicus Case in June.

Fatmir Aliu
BIRN
Pristina

During the latest session at the Pristina District Court held on Thursday, the chairman of the mixed panel of judges, Akadiusz Sedek confirmed that “Mr. [Dick] Marty will be summoned to testify on June 18.”

The court did not specify whether the former Swiss Senator Dick Marty will be asked to testify in person or by video-conference link.

In 2010, Dick Marty as Council of Europe Envoy was mandated to look into the allegations of organ harvesting by the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, during the conflict  in Kosovo in 1998-99.

The allegations were also aired in the memoirs of the former chief prosecutor at the Hague Tribunal, Carla del Ponte.

The Medicus case centres on allegations that the Kosovo-based clinic organised and carried out the sale and transplant of kidneys from poor donors to various wealthy clients.

According to the indictment, 30 operations involving illegal kidney transplants took place at the Medicus clinic.

Allegedly, poor people were lured from Istanbul, Moscow, Moldova and Kazakhstan on the false promise that they would get up to €15,000 for their organs.

The EU Rule of Law Mission to Kosovo, EULEX, prosecutor Jonathan Ratel, has announced that he will call the chief of the EULEX’s forensics team, Alan Robinson to testify about the raid on the Medicus clinic.

Ratel also summoned the Italian forensics expert Cristian Jugoveri to clarify the email exchange between the owner of the clinic Lutfi Dervishi and the Turkish doctor Yusuf Sonmez.

Nine persons have been charged with human trafficking, organised crime and the unlawful exercise of medical activities, including university professor and owner of the clinic, Dervishi, who is accused of being the ringleader.

A day earlier, EULEX told BIRN that Dick Marty's immunity from appearing in legal proceedings as a former member of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe Rapporteur may prevent him from testifying in the Medicus case.

The Council of Europe has still not stated definitively whether its rules mean that Marty is not obliged to testify about his 2010 report.

In December 2010, the Council adopted Marty’s report, which alleged that a criminal network linked to Kosovo’s current Prime Minister Hashim Thaci executed kidnapped civilians and sold their organs after the 1999 Kosovo war.

The report said that “numerous concrete and convergent indicators confirm that some Serbians and some Albanian Kosovars were held prisoner in secret places of detention under KLA control in northern Albania and were subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment, before ultimately disappearing.”

Kosovo and Albania have condemned the trafficking and organ harvesting claims as baseless but have pledged to back the probe.

In his report, Marty said he had found "credible, convergent indications" that wartime organ trafficking was "closely related to the current case of the Medicus clinic.”

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Background

Kosovo's Organ-Harvesting Controversy

Here is a sequence of events leading up to the organ-trafficking charges in Kosovo and the release of the Council of Europe report.

Fatmir Limaj, Kosovo's Road-Builder

Corruption allegations have not dented the popularity of the KLA- fighter-turned-PDK politician who has made it his mission to transform the country’s traffic arteries.

KLA : From Guerilla Wars to Party Plenums

The Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, was an ethnic Albanian guerrilla group that came to the fore in the mid-1990s, demanding the unification of Albanian territories in former Yugoslavia with Albania.

KLA Ran Torture Camps in Albania

The Kosovo Liberation Army maintained a network of prisons in their bases in Albania and Kosovo during and after the conflict of 1999, eyewitnesses allege. Only now are the details of what occurred there emerging.

The Drenica Group

Crime gang allegedly headed by Prime Minister Thaci is said to have run a range of mafia-like enterprises, from cigarette smuggling to trafficking in organs.

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