As the EU rule of law mission in Kosovo stages a new organ-trafficking investigation, prosecutor Jonathan Ratel discusses the recent Medicus clinic convictions and the suspects who remain at large.
Officials and experts warn Serbia’s war crimes prosecutors’ political agenda may endanger investigations and undermine the credibility of the office.
The clinic at the centre of organ-trafficking claims in Kosovo was just part of a wider international racket dealing in transplanted organs, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, director of Organs Watch, says.
A major investigation into allegations that senior Kosovo political figures ran a violent criminal network could be hindered by witness safety and other security concerns, Balkan Insight can reveal.
Tirana wants substantial amendments to a Council of Europe resolution, seen by Balkan Insight, that weaken allegations of organ trafficking in Kosovo.
The pressure is on for an independent investigation into Kosovo organ trafficking claims. But who would carry it out and how they would protect witnesses are already thorny issues.
Council of Europe Rapporteur, Dick Marty, tells Michael Montgomery that the emphasis placed on organ trafficking is obscuring the fact that “hundreds of people disappeared and were killed”. His report is not anti- Kosovo but merely a search for the truth, Marty says.
Ex-foreign minister and member of Albania’s delegation in the Council of Europe, Kastriot Islami says Albania will back a probe into organ trafficking claims, though it considers them baseless and the Dick Marty report as biased.
Key member of Macedonia’s governing ethnic Albanian Democratic Union for Integration says Marty report besmirches all Albanians but this should not stop a competent investigation.
While his image takes a battering abroad, Hashim Thaci’s the virulence of the accusations may have strengthened his reputation at home.
Belgrade claims the world will see Kosovo very differently, following the Marty report. That will remain Serbia’s wishful thinking if Kosovo can start to see beyond its current leadership.
Kosovo is paying a price for its unhealthy cult of the KLA’s armed struggle, which leaves it looking vulnerable when the myth of the KLA’s moral purity is scrutinised.
The former ICTY prosecutor says the International Criminal Court or a special tribunal should investigate allegations of murder and organ trafficking by Kosovo politicians.
Top human rights investigator Dick Marty blames Kosovo’s climate of fear and political opportunity for years of cover up.
Swiss senator has won plaudits in many countries for championing human rights and taking on the CIA over renditions – but among Albanians he is best known for opposing Kosovo’s independence.
Here is a sequence of events leading up to the organ-trafficking charges in Kosovo and the release of the Council of Europe report.
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.
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.
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.
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.