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Thaci - KLA - Kosovo - Albanian organ harvesting crimes and investigations
#61
http://ap.stripes.com/dynamic/stories/E/...TE=DEFAULT

Associated Press
February 18, 2011

Kosovo rebels told UN of organ harvests
By NEBI QENA

-According to the documents, the sources told U.N. officials in 2003 that senior KLA officers and officials from the Albanian government were involved in the alleged crimes, which purportedly went on as late as the summer of 2000, almost a year after Kosovo came under U.N. and NATO control.
One source is quoted as telling investigators that the first two surgeries to harvest organs were done "to breach the market," and that traffickers later were able to make up to $45,000 per body.
-The statements taken by the U.N. give specific details of locations in Albania where the KLA allegedly kept detainees and buried victims, some of them also ethnic Albanians accused of collaborating with Serbs.
-"I thought about how this was the only house where I brought people, but never picked anyone up," one source testified. "It was around this time that I heard other guys talking about organs, kidneys, and trips from the house to the airport."


PRISTINA, Kosovo: Ethnic Albanian rebels in Kosovo gave detailed testimony in 2003 on an alleged program to kill Serb captives, sell their organs, and bury hundreds of victims to hide evidence of civilian killings, according to a U.N. document obtained by The Associated Press.

The 30-page compilation of statements by at least eight people to U.N. investigators could provide momentum to claims that the world body failed to pay proper attention to war crimes by ethnic Albanian Kosovars in their 1990s war for independence.

U.N. authorities briefly investigated organ harvesting claims in 2004 but never launched a full-fledged probe, prompting Serb accusations of double standards in pursuing war crimes.

The document outlines an alleged scheme to take captives of the Kosovo Liberation Army rebels to Albania in the aftermath of the war so their kidneys, livers and other organs could be removed at a home that had been set up as a medical clinic.

U.N. officials were told the home was equipped with specialized equipment and medical personnel to carry out operations.

In a letter dated Dec. 12, 2003, Paul Coffey, the top justice official in Kosovo at the time, wrote to Jonathan Sutch, the official in charge of Yugoslav tribunal investigations in Kosovo, that the alleged crimes were reported to the U.N. in Kosovo by "multiple sources of unknown reliability."

Coffey said the information was "based on interviews with at least eight sources, the credibility of whom is untested, all ethnic Albanians from Kosovo or Montenegro who served in the Kosovo Liberation Army."

Details of the interviews were given more than seven years ago to the U.N.'s Netherlands-based tribunal that was then responsible for prosecuting war crimes in the former Yugoslavia; no one has been brought to trial.

The interviews were made available to the AP by an international official who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the case.

They appear to back allegations made by Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty, who said in a recent report on the case that Western governments ignored the accusations for fear of destabilizing Kosovo.

Marty's report in December named Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, the former head of the KLA, as the boss behind a network dealing in kidneys and other human organs as well as organized crime. Thaci has denied wrongdoing and has supported an international inquiry.

According to the documents, the sources told U.N. officials in 2003 that senior KLA officers and officials from the Albanian government were involved in the alleged crimes, which purportedly went on as late as the summer of 2000, almost a year after Kosovo came under U.N. and NATO control.

One source is quoted as telling investigators that the first two surgeries to harvest organs were done "to breach the market," and that traffickers later were able to make up to $45,000 per body.

"The largest shipment was when they did 5 Serbs together....He said they took a fortune that time," the source said according to the document. "Other shipments were usually from two or three Serbs."

The source told investigators that workers at the Rinas airport outside the Albanian capital of Tirana and at the airport in Istanbul, Turkey, where the organs were allegedly taken for sale, were bribed "to close their eyes."

The flight between the two cities takes about 1 hour 45 minutes; sources told the U.N. the house where the organs were allegedly harvested was a two-hour drive from the airport.

If packed in ice after removal, organs are viable for several hours after extraction - hearts and lungs for four-six hours, livers for 18-24 hours, kidneys for 24-48 hours.

Two sources claimed they took part in delivering body parts to Tirana's international airport, but "none of the sources witnessed the medical operations," U.N. officials noted in the document.

The organ trafficking claims, first made public in a 2008 book by former U.N. war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte, are resurfacing as Kosovo marks three years since declaring its sovereignty, with strong backing from the U.S. and most countries in the European Union.

Since then, Kosovo has met strong resistance from Serbia, which claims the territory as its spiritual homeland and seeks to undermine statehood. The alleged trade in kidneys of killed captives has given Serbia ammunition in its fight to counter Kosovo and its Western backers.

Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic on Wednesday called on the U.N. Security Council to authorize an international investigation into the allegations and to deal with claims that some countries "would love to sweep this thing under the carpet."

The head of the U.N. mission in Kosovo, Lamberto Zannier, told the AP that the 2,000-strong EU mission - known as EULEX - now in charge of dealing with war crimes in Kosovo was given every war crimes file that the Yugoslavia tribunal and the U.N. possessed, including witness statements.

Both the U.N. and the EU have prosecuted war crimes committed in Kosovo by both Serbs and ethnic Albanians, but the interviews are the first recorded reference on alleged organ trading to emerge.

"I can confirm that we gave the material we had to EULEX....This was early in 2009" Zannier said by phone from New York, where he was reporting to the U.N. Security Council.

EULEX says it has launched a preliminary investigation into Marty's allegations, but would not immediately comment on the 2003 report. It was not immediately clear if it was following up on any of the information given by the eight sources to the U.N.

So far, both the U.N. and EULEX have maintained that their investigations into the alleged organ harvesting have failed to yield any evidence.

The statements taken by the U.N. give specific details of locations in Albania where the KLA allegedly kept detainees and buried victims, some of them also ethnic Albanians accused of collaborating with Serbs.

The sources, described as "low to midlevel ranking KLA members," said the Serbs were driven by trucks and vans to Albania where they were held in detention centers and some went through medical checks.

The trail was partly followed up in February 2004, when a team of U.N. and tribunal investigators visited a house in the village of Rripe where the sources said the organ harvesting took place.

The investigators, accompanied by a local Albanian prosecutor, recovered syringes; empty containers of Tranxene, a muscle relaxant; chloraphenical, an antibiotic; and a piece of gauze similar to material used for surgical scrubs.

Chemical agents sprayed on the floors and walls of the house revealed two sizable splatters of blood - one in the kitchen, another in a storage room. But forensics tests were never conducted on the stains, and U.N. officials at the time said they could not explain why not.

According to the sources in the U.N. document, most of the alleged Serb victims ranged in age from 25 to 50.

One source said he was instructed by KLA superiors not to beat the prisoners. He became suspicious when they were to deliver "a briefcase or a file with papers that would be given to the doctor when the captives were delivered" to the house in northern Albania.

"I thought about how this was the only house where I brought people, but never picked anyone up," one source testified. "It was around this time that I heard other guys talking about organs, kidneys, and trips from the house to the airport."
---
Associated Press Medical Writer Maria Cheng contributed from London.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#62
http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-art...v_id=72931

Tanjug News Agency
February 26, 2011

"UN, France knew about KLA crimes"

-Ramush Haradinaj, Thaci and Haliti all began their careers in Switzerland, which was the center of KLA activities and the place where, prior to 1999, enormous money intended for the KLA financing had been collected.

FRANKFURT: The UN and France knew about KLA leaders' link with the organized crime and protected and sheltered them, Frankfurt-based Serbian language daily Vesti writes.

The daily cited statements from a testimony of a well-known French criminologist, Xavier Raufer, relating to one of the Albanian mafia bosses Xhavit Haliti, who is now deputy parliament speaker.

Haliti has been linked to the worst kind of mafia activities in reports by several Western intelligence services, as well as in a recent report by NATO and in a report Dick Marty submitted to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

Raufer, a Paris-based professor of criminology, warned members of one of the committees of the French Senate already in 2003 that, after the establishment of the UN administration in Kosovo, Haliti had been arrested possessing drugs and a large amount of money but had nevertheless been immediately protected and released.

According to the record from a hearing in the French Senate held on March 12, 2003, dedicated to the national fight against drugs, in which Raufer answered questions by Senator Paul Giraud, a large number of criminals arrived in Western Europe at the time of the admission of refugees from Kosovo.

The French criminologist said that a number of security officials and university professors had warned the French government not to grant Haliti a visa when he had come to attend the talks on Kosovo's future in Rambouillet in 1999, stressing that Haliti was much more a mafia godfather than a small bandit-patriot, that he was a "mafioso of the first order", one of the financiers and without any doubt the godfather of the young Hashim Thaci at the time.

Ramush Haradinaj, Thaci and Haliti all began their careers in Switzerland, which was the center of KLA activities and the place where, prior to 1999, enormous money intended for the KLA financing had been collected.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#63
http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=225870

Interfax
March 1, 2011

Russian official, UN envoy discuss human organ trafficking in Kosovo

MOSCOW: Illegal trade in human organs in Kosovo was one of the issues raised at a meeting between a Russian deputy foreign minister and a senior UN envoy on Tuesday.

Deputy Minister Vladimir Titov and UN Special Representative for Kosovo Lamberto Zannier had "an exchange of opinions on an investigation into illegal trade in human organs in Kosovo under a recent decision by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"The need was stressed for an effective international mechanism for this purpose under the control of the UN Security Council," it said.

Titov and Zannier also discussed "key aspects of the Kosovo peace process, international activities in Kosovo, and the overall situation" there, the ministry said.

"The Russian side reaffirmed its unchanged position of non-recognition of the independence of Kosovo, which has been declared unilaterally and in violation of principles and standards of international law. It was emphasized that negotiations based on Resolution 1244 of the UN Security Council would be the only way to solve the Kosovo problem," the statement said.

In January, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told a briefing in Moscow: "The resolution confirms our position that all the facts need careful investigation and gives a powerful signal to the international community that it is unacceptable to try to gloss over brutal crimes in Kosovo."

"We are convinced that illegal trade in human organs is an issue that must remain an object of close attention on the part of the international community," he said.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#64
http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-art...v_id=75379

Tanjug News Agency
July 11, 2011

"Big powers against UN-mandate organ trafficking probe"

-"I would like to believe that, in the weeks to come, we will manage to overcome the obstacle and achieve progress. If that does not happen, it will be extremely difficult to resist the impression that there is something in the case of human organ trafficking in Kosovo that, for some reason, should by no means see the light of day."

BELGRADE: The U.S., Britain and France are hindering Serbia's request for the investigation into human organ trafficking in Kosovo to be conducted under the UN mandate.

This is according to Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić.

"Our request for the investigators to work with a mandate on the case of organ trafficking in Kosovo and Albania, and submit their reports to the UN Security Council, has unfortunately been hindered by those who have the institutional capacity to do that," Jeremić told Belgrade-based daily Blic in an interview.

He identified those countries as the United States, Britain and France.

When asked about whether this "ruins the last chance to carry out an independent investigation under the mandate of the UN Security Council", Jeremic said that "talks continued".

"I would like to believe that, in the weeks to come, we will manage to overcome the obstacle and achieve progress. If that does not happen, it will be extremely difficult to resist the impression that there is something in the case of human organ trafficking in Kosovo that, for some reason, should by no means see the light of day."

The Marty report published in late 2010 named members of the ethnic Albanian KLA as perpetrators of the body part trafficking atrocities, and kidnapped Serb and other civilians as their victims.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#65
Witness X: Fatmir Ljimaj ordered killings of Serbs

15. June 2011. | 12:03
Source: Emg.rs, Tanjug

Fatmir Ljimaj, a former Kosovo government minister and currently an MP, ordered the killing of two Serbs in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) camp in the village of Klecka, central Kosovo, protected 'Witness X' said in a court case EULEX launched after arresting a group of former KLA members three months ago.

Fatmir Ljimaj, a former Kosovo government minister and currently an MP, ordered the killing of two Serbs in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) camp in the village of Klecka, central Kosovo, protected 'Witness X' said in a court case EULEX launched after arresting a group of former KLA members three months ago.

Witness X, who was a supervisor in a prison in a KLA camp in the village of Klecka, told EULEX that he had personally killed two Serbs acting on the orders of the then commander of the KLA units in Klecka, Fatmir Limaj.

The protected Witness X testified to EULEX special prosecutor Mauricio Salustro about the events starting from the first day he had joined the ranks of the KLA to the day he handed himself over to the authorities.

Witness X was a supervisor of the prison in Klecka during 1998-1999.
http://www.emg.rs/en/news/serbia/157865.html
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#66
Albanian libel suit against Dick Marty dismissed

An Albanian court has dismissed a libel suit filed against Dick Marty by an Albanian family over claims that their home was used as a clinic for removing organs.

Marty, a member of the Swiss Senate, investigated allegations of organ trafficking in Kosovo on behalf of the Council of Europe. He filed a report in December 2010, in which he alleged that after the end of hostilities with Serbia in 1999, high-ranking members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) had been involved in the murder of mostly Serbian prisoners, whose organs were then trafficked.

The prisoners were said to have been held in the so-called "yellow house" in the village of Rribe in northern Albania before being killed.

The family were seeking €200,000 (SFr244,000) damages at Tirana District Court for allegedly having being linked in Marty's report to events at the infamous house.

Marty told the Swiss News Agency that the family in question had not been named in the report, nor had he ever mentioned them in interviews. The report names a different family as owners of the house. It says the others had left it before it was used as a prison.

The Council adopted the report in January and called for prompt action to determine whether the allegations were true.

Among those named in the report are Hashim Thaci, the current prime minister of Kosovo.

Thaci and his government, as well as Albania, have denied Marty's claims. When the report was made public, the Kosovo government responded by saying it would take "all necessary legal and political means" to counter the "fabrications".

swissinfo.ch and agencies
http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/Alb...d=30419916
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#67
Magda - thank you.

Important finds, important thread.
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
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#68

"Dramatic facts" surface in organ trade case

Source: Tanjug BELGRADE -- Serbia's Deputy War Crimes Prosecutor Bruno Vekarić said Thursday that new dramatic facts had surfaced in the investigation into organ trafficking in Kosovo.

[Image: 11675186734f17ee02abb1f927073062_MidCol.jpg]
Bruno Vekarić (FoNet, file)
Former ethnic Albanian so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander and Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is one of the suspects in the investigation.
Vekarić said there was a struggle inside the UN to change the investigative team so that it includes one UN facilitator and to arrive at a solution as to who would head the investigation, which is currently entrusted to John Clint Williamson and his team.

He told Belgrade-based Pink TV that there were new details and that cooperation with Russia would help.

At a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavor spoke about the Medicus case, an investigation into illegal trade in human organs in Kosovo, stressing that Russia would make sure the case was investigated thoroughly.

According to Russian daily Komersant, Russian investigative bodies have officially confirmed that the victims of illegal organ transplantations which took place at the Medicus clinic in Kosovo include Russian citizens, and ascertained the involvement of high-level Kosovo officials.

The Medicus clinic case concerns illegal organ trafficking that took place in Priština several years after the 1999 war in the province, when money was offered to the victims in exchange for their vital organs.

The case investigated by the Serbian War Crimes Prosecution, and which was the subject of the Council of Europe Rapporteur Dick Marty's report, concerns kidnappings, illegal imprisonment, organ extraction and deaths of Serb and other civilians in Kosovo and northern Albania in 1999 and 2000.
http://www.b92.net/eng/news/crimes-artic...v_id=78357
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#69
Expanding markets. Same players.
Quote:A former Kosovo health minister and another Pristina official are among eight suspects in a new EU probe into a human organ trafficking case, AFP reports citing a local daily. The organs were allegedly trafficked form Kazakhstan, Russia, Moldova and Turkey.

Last Tuesday, a day after a European Union-led court in Kosovo convicted five doctors of harvesting and selling kidneys at a Pristina clinic, the EU's Pristina mission announced the new probe without revealing the identity of the suspects.

It said they were under investigation for "organized crime, trafficking in persons, grievous bodily harm, abusing official position of authority, fraud and trading in influence".

Alush Gashi, a former health minister, and Shaip Muja, who advised the Kosovo prime minister on health issues, are among the suspects, the Koha Ditore daily reported Tuesday, quoting anonymous sources from the EU prosecutor's office.

The suspects "are expected to be charged very soon", the paper said.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for EULEX, the EU mission in Pristina, could neither confirm nor deny the Koha Ditore report.

"The case is being investigated. It is just the beginning. EULEX does not want to confirm or deny the (published) names of the suspects in this case," spokesman Blerim Krasniqi toldAFP.

The eight are suspected of using their influence to cover up the case in which around 30 illegal kidney removals and transplants were carried out at the Medicus clinic in Pristina in 2008, the daily said.

The donors were recruited from poor eastern European and Central Asian countries and promised about 15,000 euros ($20,000) for their organs. The recipients, mainly Israelis, would pay up to 100,000 euros each.

Gashi and Muja joined Prime Minister Hashim Thaci's government following 2007 parliamentary elections.

Meanwhile, Muja, commenting on the Koha Ditore report, said his conscience was clear.

"I'm not hiding from these things. I sleep in peace, because I know who I am," he told reporters.

The five doctors convicted in late April included the owner of the Medicus clinic and prominent Pristina urologist Lutfi Dervishi and his son Arban. Of the five, Dervishi received the harshest sentence of eight years in jail.

EULEX was set up to help the local judiciary handle sensitive cases after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

For more information see:http://en.tengrinews.kz/crime/Kosovo-off...tan-19517/
Use of the Tengrinews English materials must be accompanied by a hyperlink to en.Tengrinews.kz
http://en.tengrinews.kz/crime/Kosovo-off...tan-19517/
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#70
Quote:EULEX was set up to help the local judiciary handle sensitive cases after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

I'm hugely reassured.

Not.
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
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