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13 Jan 11

Turkey Releases Kosovo Organ Case Doctor on Bail

Serbia's Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanovic says the Turkish decision to release Yusuf Sonmez, suspected of involvement in organ trafficking in Kosovo, sends a bad message to all those who have committed crimes.

Tanjug, B92

Sonmez, a surgeon suspected of involvement in illegal human organ trafficking in Kosovo, was arrested in Istanbul on Tuesday evening and later released on bail.

Bogdanovic told Tanjug the decision to release Sonmez undermines the efforts by the EU Mission in Kosovo, EULEX, to investigate the organ trafficking case related to the private Pristina clinic Medicus.

Seven Medicus-linked suspects appeared in court in December in Pristina accused of bringing up to 30 people, plucked from the poorest corners of the world, to Kosovo under the false promise that they would be paid for their kidneys. Somnez is named as a suspect in the case.

"This decision is a bad message to send to all those who have committed crimes, saying that they can be abolished in a way, regardless of the fact that it allows EULEX prosecutors to go to Turkey and conduct an inquiry," Bogdanovic said.

The Turkish authorities should not treat a serious investigation such as the Somnez case in this way, he added.

Turkish courts now have less than two weeks to decide if the case will go to trial, said reports from Istanbul.

In Pristina, an EULEX spokesperson said that "Sonmez remains a suspect in the Medicus case".

"The Kosovo Special Prosecution continues to cooperate closely with Turkish judiciary authorities in the investigation underway in Kosovo," said Irina Gudeljevic.

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