News 10 Feb 16

Turkish Organ-Trafficking Suspect Gives Statement in Pristina

Kenan Demirkol, a Turkish doctor accused of organ-harvesting by the Kosovo authorities, has given a statement in Pristina in exchange of the suspension of an Interpol warrant for his arrest.

Petrit Collaku
Sign leading to the former Medicus clinic.

Demirkol, who is wanted in the so-called Medicus case, in which five people have already been convicted of involvement in organ-trafficking, surrendered in Pristina on January 25 to give a statement to prosecutors, his lawyer told BIRN on Wednesday.

In exchange, Demirkol asked for the removal of the Interpol warrant arrest that came into force in 2014.

In February 2013, Demirkol was due to testify via video link during the Medicus trial but declined to do so, saying that Turkish law gave him the right to refuse because he is a doctor.

Demirkol is charged with organ-trafficking, together with another Turkish doctor, Yusuf Sonmez, who remains at large.

Prosecutors allege that that a group of people brought poor donors and rich recipients to the Medicus clinic in Pristina where illegal kidney transplants were carried out and the organs sold to rich recipiemts.

Demirkol’s lawyer, Ismet Shufta, said that Demirkol arrived in Pristina on January 25 and he left for Turkey on the same day.

Shufta said that Demirkol first asked for a guarantee from EU rule-of-law mission in Kosovo police and Kosovo police that he would not be arrested when he entered the country.

“He also gave guarantees that he will respond in future to all the court’s and prosecutor’s invitations,” Shufta said.

The lawyer added that Demirkol has visited Kosovo several times and knew Sonmez and other doctors at the Medicus clinic.

“Demirkol worked there at the Medicus clinic but he was there as a general surgeon. He never participated in any transplant operations. He denies all the charges,” Shufta said.

The Medicus clinic was also mentioned in a Council of Europe report which alleged that elements of the Kosovo Liberation Army traded the organs of prisoners during the 1999 conflict.

Investigators closed down the clinic in 2008, and it has since been sold.

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