news 29 Jun 12

Marty Might Not Testify in the Medicus Case

Dick Marty, Council of Europe rapporteur, might not testify in the Medicus case, since the Parliamentary Assembly of the CoE has not lifted his immunity.

 Dick Marty, Council of Europe rapporteur I Photo by Beta

According to the reports from the Serbian state news agency Tanjug, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has unanimously declined to discuss lifting of Marty’s immunity thereby preventing him to testify in front of Pristina's court in an organ trafficking case.

The Council of Europe has declined to comment to BIRN about the media reports about Marty's possible testimony.

Article 14 of the General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe states “that representatives of the Consultative Assembly and their substitutes shall be immune from all official interrogation and from arrest and all legal proceedings in respect of words spoken or votes cast by them in the exercise of their functions.”

Previously, Dick Marty, the Council of Europe's human rights rapporteur, had been expected to testify in the Kosovo court on June 18, but did not appear as scheduled.

At the time, EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, EULEX, issued a press release stating that the Council of Europe is reviewing EULEX’s request to summon Dick Marty to testify in the Medicus trial.

“This process takes time, therefore the panel of judges in the Medicus case has decided to postpone Marty’s testimony until the beginning of September," read the statement.

The Medicus case centres on the allegations that a group of people brought poor donors and rich recipients to the Medicus clinic, just outside Pristina, in order to carry out the harvesting and transplant of kidneys.

Jonatan Ratel, prosecutor in the case, initiated the procedure of calling Marty to testify believing that he can have evidence related to the case.

In December 2010 Marty presented a report to the Council of Europe, in which he alleged that some elements of the Kosovo Liberation Army, including Kosovo's Prime Minister Hasim Tachi, had traded the organs of prisoners during the 1999 conflict.

However, Juri Las, spokesperson of the Special Investigation EULEX team for the organ trafficking case, says that the Medicus case and Marty’s report on organ trafficking are two different crimes committed in different times.

“We have here two kinds of criminal activities from two different time periods. Certainly, it is something we cannot speak about in a hundred per cent accuracy, but the point is that these are two types of crimes in different periods,” said Las for Radio Free Europe.

According to the indictment, 30 operations involving illegal kidney transplants were conducted at the clinic, operations which were enabled by luring people from slums in Istanbul, Moscow, Moldova and Kazakhstan with false promises of up to €15,000 for their organs.

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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

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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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