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Thread: Thaci - KLA - Kosovo - Albanian organ harvesting crimes and investigations

  1. #51

    Default Not just Albania blocking inquiry but the UN too.

    http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/u...rt-says-serbia

    Radio Netherlands
    December 26, 2010

    UN covered up organ trafficking report, says Serbia

    Serbia asked the international war crimes court for the former Yugoslavia to investigate a former UN chief in Kosovo for covering up a report on organ trafficking, a report said on Sunday.

    Serbia's minister for cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) wrote to chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz seeking an inquest into Soren Jessen Petersen, the head of the UN's mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) from 2004 to 2006, Blic newspaper reported.

    "We are waiting for ICTY to open an inquest into UNMIK officials at the time for contempt of court," minister Rasim Ljajic told the newspaper.

    Council of Europe rapporteur Dick Marty published a report earlier this month that linked Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci to organ trading and organised crime, which Thaci has denied.

    UNMIK investigated possible organ trafficking in 2004, but it did not take it further citing lack of evidence.

    "At the time, UNMIK said it did not have a report on organ trafficking and had no proof....But in 2008 our war crimes prosecutor obtained 16 pages of this report," Ljajic said.

    Marty's report said Thaci headed a Kosovo Liberation Army faction which controlled secret detention centres in Albania, where the human organ trafficking was alleged to have taken place in the aftermath of the 1998-99 war between the guerrillas and Serbian forces.
    "I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

    The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
    Karl Marx.

    "Well, he would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963, replied Ms Rice Davies when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her.

  2. #52

    Default

    The U N's involvement is a travesty of justice imho. I suspect this is going to turn out like NATO connections to important paedophile networks.
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  3. #53

    Default A dark cloud hangs over Kosovo

    An article generally sympathetic to the Kosovo manufactured narco terror state though it brings up the 'difficulties' for the Swiss special rapporteur from exposing the atrocities. However, such things were foreseeable to many knowing the previous history of the area and the fascist and criminal players involved.


    http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topic...6&parent_id=26

    Gulf Times
    January 23, 2011

    A dark cloud hangs over Kosovo
    By Ian Bancroft/Pristina


    The serious allegations made against Kosovo’s current prime minister and former political leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), Hashim Thaci, by the Council of Europe’s special rapporteur, Dick Marty, have raised profound questions about the role of the international community in Kosovo prior to, during and since the Nato-led bombing campaign in 1999.

    In particular, Marty’s assertion that the interests of stability were placed before those of justice further undermines the already discredited claim that intervention was based upon humanitarian principles.

    By providing de facto impunity from criminal investigation, the international community has further undermined efforts to strengthen the rule of law in Kosovo; the prime motivation for the deployment of EULEX. When it debates Marty’s report on January 25, the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly (PACE) will therefore have a vital opportunity and obligation to provide greater momentum to an in-depth and unhindered investigation into the alleged crimes and their perpetrators.

    Having previously led a Council of Europe investigation into extraordinary rendition and alleged CIA secret detention centres in Europe, Marty’s latest report, entitled “Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo”, was adopted by PACE’s committee on legal affairs and human rights in mid-December.

    Aside from the allegations of “disappearances, organ trafficking, corruption and collusion between organised criminal groups and political circles in Kosovo”, one of the most damning indictments is Marty’s assertion that “the international organisations in place in Kosovo favoured a pragmatic political approach, taking the view that they needed to promote short-term stability at any price, thereby sacrificing some important principles of justice”.

    The international community’s complicity in down-playing and even ignoring suspected crimes by the KLA demonstrates the paucity of their supposed humanitarian concerns, particularly when contrasted with the grand statements of Blair, Kouchner et al.

    The Kosovo government’s response has revolved around denial and accusations of racism.

    Thaci has vowed to publicly reveal the names of those who had co-operated with Marty, threatened to sue the Council of Europe’s rapporteur and compared the report to Nazi propaganda; an assertion that caused considerable dismay in Marty’s native Switzerland.

    The Kosovo Liberation Army’s Veterans Association, meanwhile, launched an “aggressive smear campaign” against a respected journalist, Halil Matoshi, who accused certain individuals of wanting to “police a ‘patriotic anarchy’” by labelling people either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ patriots.

    Reporters Without Borders called on the Kosovo government to condemn the remarks, insisting that “the guilty silence must end at once. The entire political class has a duty to respond to these indirect but real threats”. Such a climate of fear and intimidation bodes ill for the prospects of justice being served any time soon.

    Indeed, another Council of Europe report, entitled “The protection of witnesses as a cornerstone for justice and reconciliation in the Balkans”, is set to shed further light on the challenges facing any potential criminal investigation. The report’s author, Jean Charles Gardetto, notes a lack of effective witness protection and talks of cases where “many potential witnesses in Kosovo claim to be perceived as traitors if they testify” and “witnesses who are on the point of testifying (are) being assassinated”.

    Such witness intimidation, as Gardetto notes, makes the role of the international community even more vital in order to ensure that the investigation and prosecution of cases remain free from political and other forms of interference.

    By adopting Marty’s report on January 25, the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly can provide additional impetus to an international investigation into, and possible prosecution of, alleged crimes in Kosovo and Albania.

    The EU will have a key role to play in conducting and ensuring full co-operation with such an inquiry. Should Albania and Kosovo refuse to co-operate, then the EU should employ the very conditionality that has worked so effectively with respect to ensuring Serbia’s full co-operation with the ICTY.

    Political pragmatism must no longer be placed before the principles of justice. A failure to credibly investigate all alleged crimes will only further impede the process of reconciliation and the prospects of achieving a sustainable political settlement between Serbia and Kosovo. It will also leave Kosovo tangled up in a web of organised crime and corruption, and devoid of the international recognition that it so desperately seeks. - Global Experts (www.theglobalexperts.org), a project of the UN Alliance of Civilisations

    **** Ian Bancroft is the co-founder and executive director of TransConflict (www.transconflict.com), an organisation undertaking conflict and post-conflict transformation projects and research throughout the Western Balkans.
    "I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

    The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
    Karl Marx.

    "Well, he would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963, replied Ms Rice Davies when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her.

  4. #54

    Default Report reignites Kosovo organ trafficking claim

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12269829

    BBC News
    January 24, 2011

    Report reignites Kosovo organ trafficking claim
    By Mark Lowen


    Silvana Marinkovic clasps the faded photograph of her husband, Goran; the contours of his face now barely visible.

    "He was 26 here," she says. "19 June 1999. The last time I saw him before he was taken."

    For over a decade Ms Marinkovic has come twice weekly to a cramped office near the Kosovan capital Pristina.

    There, she and other relatives of Kosovan Serbs who disappeared after the war discuss the hunt for their loved ones.

    Almost 2,000 ethnic Serbs and Albanians are still missing from the conflict in Kosovo.

    "He was kidnapped," she tells me. "It's so hard to think of it. I don't know where he was taken, but I still pray I'll find him alive."

    The fate of some lay a few hours' drive away, according to the human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe.

    Its rapporteur, the Swiss senator Dick Marty, published a report last month, alleging that members of the ethnic Albanian separatist group, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), took prisoners to detention camps in Albania in the months following the war against the Serbs.

    'Yellow house'

    In a makeshift clinic in the town of Fushe-Kruje, near the Albanian capital, some are said to have been killed and their organs removed to be sold on the international market.

    On Tuesday, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will debate the findings and vote on a resolution based on the draft report.

    That could prompt calls for a fresh investigation.

    Allegations of organ trafficking from the Kosovan war have been present for some years.

    They previously centred on a building nicknamed the "yellow house" near the Albanian town of Burrel, where kidneys of captured Serbs were said to have been removed.

    But after successive investigations ended without prosecutions, many believed the case would be dropped.

    Now the Marty report has reawakened those claims, focusing for the first time on Fushe-Kruje.

    The building mentioned in the report is described, though its exact location not disclosed.

    I travelled to a crumbling house near the town that matches the description.

    Local media say it could be the building mentioned since Kosovan Albanian refugees lived here during the war.

    Hidden up a stony track, the deserted shell is choked by thick brambles. The window frames are empty, doors removed and even the light fittings ripped out. Old shoes and empty bottles are strewn across the rotting floors.

    There is nothing to suggest that it housed an operational organ clinic, but then it is totally derelict.
    ....
    The Marty report claims that witnesses were silenced and paid off by members of the Drenica Group, a faction within the KLA, whose members allegedly carried out the organ trafficking, as well as heroin smuggling and assassinations.

    Its leader is named as Hashim Thaci: then the KLA's political chief, now Kosovo's Prime Minister, described by intelligence sources as being "the most dangerous of the KLA's 'criminal bosses'".

    Mr Thaci was backed by western powers from the late 1990s, through Nato's bombing campaign to support the KLA and drive the Serbs out of Kosovo.

    That support is heavily criticised in the report as fostering a one-sided view of the conflict, with Serbs seen as the aggressors and Kosovan Albanians as the victims.
    ....
    Just outside Pristina lies a gated cemetery to fallen members of the KLA, with each grave decorated by an Albanian flag.

    Across Kosovo, the men are seen as heroes of the liberation struggle, martyrs for the Albanian cause.

    But an uncomfortable light has now been shone of the other side of that fight and on what may have happened back in 1999 in the KLA's name.
    "I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

    The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
    Karl Marx.

    "Well, he would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963, replied Ms Rice Davies when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her.

  5. #55

    Default Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo*1 Report

    F – 67075 Strasbourg Cedex | e-mail: assembly@coe.int | Tel: + 33 3 88 41 2000 | Fax: +33 3 88 41 2776
    AS/Jur (2010) 46 [provisional version]
    12 December 2010
    Ajdoc46 2010
    Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights
    Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human
    organs in Kosovo*1
    Report
    Rapporteur: Mr Dick Marty, Switzerland, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
    A. Draft resolution
    1. The Parliamentary Assembly was extremely concerned to learn of the revelations of the former
    Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), who alleged that serious
    crimes had been committed during the conflict in Kosovo, including trafficking in human organs, crimes which
    had gone unpunished hitherto and had not been the subject of any serious investigation.
    2. In addition, according to the former Prosecutor, these acts had been committed by members of the
    "Kosovo Liberation Army" (KLA) militia against Serbian nationals who had remained in Kosovo at the end of
    the armed conflict and been taken prisoner.
    3. According to the information gathered by the Assembly and to the criminal investigations now under
    way, numerous concrete and convergent indications confirm that some Serbians and some Albanian
    Kosovars were held prisoner in secret places of detention under KLA control in northern Albania and were
    subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment, before ultimately disappearing.
    4. Numerous indications seem to confirm that, during the period immediately after the end of the armed
    conflict, before international forces had really been able to take control of the region and re-establish a
    semblance of law and order, organs were removed from some prisoners at a clinic in Albanian territory, near
    Fushë-Krujë, to be taken abroad for transplantation.
    5. This criminal activity, which developed with the benefit of the chaos prevailing in the region, at the
    initiative of certain KLA militia leaders linked to organised crime, has continued, albeit in other forms, until
    today, as demonstrated by an investigation being carried out by the European Union Rule of Law Mission in
    Kosovo (EULEX) relating to the Medicus clinic in Pristina.
    6. Although some concrete evidence of such trafficking already existed at the beginning of the decade,
    the international authorities in charge of the region did not consider it necessary to conduct a detailed
    examination of these circumstances, or did so incompletely and superficially.
    * All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in
    full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of
    Kosovo.
    1 Draft resolution adopted unanimously by the Committee in Paris on 16 December 2010.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    2
    7. Particularly during the first years of their presence in Kosovo, the international organisations
    responsible for security and the rule of law (KFOR and UNMIK) had to cope with major structural problems
    and serious shortages of staff with the skills to take on the tasks they were entrusted with, all this being
    aggravated by rapid and constant staff rotation.
    8. The ICTY, which had started to conduct an initial examination on the spot to establish the existence of
    traces of possible organ trafficking, dropped the investigation. The elements of proof taken in Rripe, in
    Albania, have been destroyed and cannot therefore be used for more detailed analyses. No subsequent
    investigation has been carried out into a case nevertheless considered sufficiently serious by the former
    ICTY Prosecutor for her to see the need to bring it to public attention through her book.
    9. During the decisive phase of the armed conflict, NATO took action in the form of air strikes, while land
    operations were conducted by the KLA, de facto allies of the international forces. Following the departure of
    the Serbian authorities, the international bodies responsible for security in Kosovo very much relied on the
    political forces in power in Kosovo, most of them former KLA leaders.
    10. The international organisations in place in Kosovo favoured a pragmatic political approach, taking the
    view that they needed to promote short-term stability at any price, thereby sacrificing some important
    principles of justice. For a long time little was done to follow-up evidence implicating KLA members in crimes
    against the Serbian population and against certain Albanian Kosovars. Immediately after the conflict ended,
    in effect, when the KLA had virtually exclusive control on the ground, many scores were settled between
    different factions and against those considered, without any kind of trial, to be traitors because they were
    suspected of having collaborated with the Serbian authorities previously in place.
    11. EULEX, which took over certain functions in the justice sector previously fulfilled by UN structures
    (UNMIK) at the end of 2008, inherited a difficult and sensitive situation, particularly in the sphere of
    combating serious crime: incomplete records, lost documents, uncollected witness testimony. Consequently,
    a large number of crimes may well continue to go unpunished. Little or no detailed investigation has been
    carried out into organised crime and its connections with representatives of political institutions, or in respect
    of war crimes committed against Serbians and Albanian Kosovars regarded as collaborators or as rivals of
    the dominant factions. This last-named subject is still truly taboo in Kosovo today, although everybody talks
    about it in private, very cautiously. EULEX seems very recently to have made some progress in this field,
    and it is very much to be hoped that political considerations will not impede this commitment.
    12. The team of international prosecutors and investigators within EULEX which is responsible for
    investigating allegations of inhuman treatment, including those relating to possible organ trafficking, has
    made progress, particularly in respect of proving the existence of secret KLA places of detention in northern
    Albania where inhuman treatment and even murders are said to have been committed. The investigation
    does not, however, benefit from the desirable co-operation from the Albanian authorities.
    13. The appalling crimes committed by Serbian forces, which stirred up very strong feelings worldwide,
    gave rise to a mood reflected as well in the attitude of certain international agencies, according to which it
    was invariably one side that were regarded as the perpetrators of crimes and the other side as the victims,
    thus necessarily innocent. The reality is less clear-cut and more complex.
    14. The Parliamentary Assembly strongly reaffirms the need for an absolutely uncompromising fight
    against impunity for the perpetrators of serious human rights violations, and wishes to point out that the fact
    that these were committed in the context of a violent conflict could never justify a decision to refrain from
    prosecuting anyone who has committed such acts (see Resolution 1675 (2009)).
    15. There cannot and must not be one justice for the winners and another for the losers. Whenever a
    conflict has occurred, all criminals must be prosecuted and held responsible for their illegal acts, whichever
    side they belonged to and irrespective of the political role they took on.
    16. The question which, from the humanitarian viewpoint, remains the most acute and sensitive is that of
    missing persons. Of more than 6,000 disappearances on which the International Committee of the Red
    Cross (ICRC) has opened files, approximately 1,400 individuals have been found alive and 2,500 corpses
    have been found and identified. For the most part, these were Albanian Kosovar victims found in mass
    graves in regions under Serbian control and in Kosovo.
    17. Co-operation is still clearly insufficient between international agencies on the one hand and the
    Kosovar and Albanian authorities on the other on finding out the fate of the missing persons. Whereas
    Serbia ultimately co-operated, it has proved far more complicated to carry out excavations on the territory of
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    3
    Kosovo, and has been impossible, at least so far, on Albanian territory. Co-operation by the Kosovar
    authorities is particularly lacking in respect of the search for the almost 500 persons who officially
    disappeared after the end of the conflict.
    18. The working group on missing persons, chaired by the ICRC and the EULEX Office on Missing
    Persons, needs the full and wholehearted support of the international community in order for the reluctance
    on both sides to be overcome. Knowing the truth and enabling victims' families to mourn at last is a vital
    precondition for reconciliation between the communities and a peaceful future in this region of the Balkans.
    19. The Assembly therefore invites:
    19.1 the member states of the European Union and the other contributing states:
    19.1.1 to allocate to EULEX the resources that it needs, in terms of logistics and highly skilled staff, to
    deal with the extraordinarily complex and important role entrusted to it;
    19.1.2 to set EULEX a clear objective and give it political support at the highest level to combat organised
    crime uncompromisingly, and to ensure that justice is done, without any considerations of political
    expediency;
    19.1.3 to commit all the resources needed to set up effective witness protection programmes;
    19.2 EULEX:
    19.2.1 to persevere with its investigative work, without taking any account of the offices held by possible
    suspects or of the origin of the victims, doing everything to cast light on the criminal disappearances, the
    indications of organ trafficking, corruption and the collusion so often complained of between organised
    criminal groups and political circles;
    19.2.2 to take every measure necessary to ensure effective protection for witnesses and to gain their trust;
    19.3 the ICTY to co-operate fully with EULEX, particularly by making available to it the information
    and elements of proof in its possession likely to help EULEX to prosecute those responsible for crimes within
    its jurisdiction;
    19.4 the Serbian authorities:
    19.4.1 to make every effort to capture the persons still wanted by the ICTY for war crimes, particularly
    General Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic, whose impunity continues to constitute a serious obstacle to the
    process of reconciliation and is often referred to by the authorities of other countries to justify their lack of
    enthusiasm about taking judicial action themselves;
    19.4.2 to co-operate closely with EULEX, particularly by passing to it all information which may help to clear
    up crimes committed during and after the conflict in Kosovo;
    19.4.3 to take the necessary measures to prevent leaks to the press of information about investigations
    concerning Kosovo, leaks which are prejudicial to co-operation with other authorities and to the credibility of
    the investigative work;
    19.5 the Albanian authorities and the Kosovo administration :
    19.5.1 to co-operate unreservedly with EULEX and the Serbian authorities in the framework of procedures
    intended to find out the truth about crimes committed in Kosovo, irrespective of the known or assumed origin
    of the suspects and the victims;
    19.5.2 in particular, to take action on the requests for judicial assistance made by EULEX concerning
    criminal acts alleged to have occurred in a KLA camp in northern Albania;
    19.5.3 to start a serious and independent investigation in order to find out the whole truth about the
    allegations, sometimes concrete and specific, of the existence of secret detention centres where inhuman
    treatment was purportedly inflicted on prisoners from Kosovo, of Serbian or Albanian origin, during and
    immediately after the conflict; the investigation must also be extended to a verification of the equally specific
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    4
    allegations about organ trafficking said to have taken place during the same period, some of it on Albanian
    territory;
    19.6 all the Council of Europe member and observer states concerned:
    19.6.1 to respond without undue delay to the requests for judicial co-operation addressed to them by
    EULEX and by the Serbian authorities in the framework of their current investigations concerning war crimes
    and organ trafficking; the delayed response to these requests is incomprehensible and intolerable in view of
    the importance and urgency of international co-operation to deal with such serious and dangerous crime
    problems;
    19.6.2 to co-operate with EULEX in its efforts to protect witnesses, especially when the persons concerned
    can no longer continue to live in the region and must therefore adopt a new identity and find a new country of
    residence;
    20. The Assembly, aware that trafficking of human organs is now an extremely serious problem
    worldwide, manifestly contravening the most basic standards in terms of human rights and dignity, welcomes
    and concurs with the conclusions of the joint study published in 2009 by the Council of Europe and the
    United Nations Organisation. It agrees in particular with the conclusion that it is necessary to draft an
    international legal instrument, which lays down definitions of human organ, tissue and cell trafficking and lays
    out the action that shall be taken in order to prevent such trafficking and to protect its victims, as well as
    criminal law measures to prosecute the perpetrators.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    5
    B. Explanatory memorandum by Mr Dick Marty
    Contents
    1. Introductory remarks – an overview
    2. Introductory commentary on sources
    3. Detailed findings of our inquiry
    3.1 The overall picture
    3.2 KLA factionalism and the nexus with organised crime
    3.3 Detention facilities and the inhuman treatment of captives
    3.3.1. KLA detentions in wartime
    3.3.1.1. First subset of captives: the “prisoners of war”
    3.3.1.1.1. Case study on the nature of the facilities: Cahan
    3.3.1.1.2. Case study on the nature of the facilities: Kukës
    3.3.2. Post-conflict detentions carried out by KLA members and affiliates
    3.3.2.1. Second subset of captives: the “disappeared”
    3.3.2.1.1. Case study on the nature of the facilities: Rripe
    3.3.2.1.2. Observations on the conditions of detention and transport
    3.3.2.2. Third subset of captives: the “victims of organised crime”
    Case study on the nature of the facilities: Fushë-Krujë
    4. Medicus clinic
    5. Reflections on the “glass ceiling of accountability” in Kosovo
    6. Some concluding remarks
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    6
    1. Introductory remarks – an overview
    1. In April 2008 Madam Carla Del Ponte, the former Chief Prosecutor before the International Criminal
    Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), published a set of memoirs, co-authored with Chuck Sudetic, on
    her experiences within the tribunal. The book initially came out in Italian (“La caccia – Io e i criminali di
    guerra”), then in translation, notably in French (“La traque, les criminels de guerre et moi”). In the book,
    almost ten years after the end of the war in Kosovo, there appeared revelations of trafficking in human
    organs taken from Serb prisoners, reportedly carried out by leading commanders of the Kosovo Liberation
    Army (KLA). These claims were surprising in several respects and have provoked a host of strong reactions.
    They were surprising, in the first place, because they emanated from someone who exercised the highest
    official responsibilities, at the very heart of the judicial system tasked with prosecuting the crimes committed
    in the course of the conflicts that ravaged the former Yugoslavia. Furthermore, and above all, they were
    surprising because they revealed an apparent absence of official follow-up in respect of allegations that were
    nevertheless deemed serious enough to warrant inclusion in the memoirs of the former Prosecutor could
    hardly have ignored the grave and far-reaching nature of the allegations she had decided to make public.
    2. Having before it a motion for a Resolution (doc.11574), which demanded a thorough investigation into
    the acts mentioned by Madam Del Ponte and their consequences, in order to ascertain their veracity, deliver
    justice to the victims and apprehend the culprits of the crimes, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human
    Rights appointed me as Rapporteur and accordingly instructed me to propose a preliminary draft resolution
    and to draw up a report.
    3. The extraordinary challenges of this assignment were immediately clear. The acts alleged – by a
    former prosecutor of international standing, let us remember – purportedly took place a decade ago and
    were not properly investigated by any of the national and international authorities with jurisdiction over the
    territories concerned. All the indications are that efforts to establish the facts of the Kosovo conflict and
    punish the attendant war crimes had primarily been concentrated in one direction, based on an implicit
    presumption that one side were the victims and the other side the perpetrators. As we shall see, the reality
    seems to have been more complex. The structure of Kosovar Albanian society, still very much clanorientated,
    and the absence of a true civil society have made it extremely difficult to set up contacts with
    local sources. This is compounded by fear, often to the point of genuine terror, which we have observed in
    some of our informants immediately upon broaching the subject of our inquiry. Even certain representatives
    of international institutions did not conceal their reluctance to grapple with these facts: “The past is the past”,
    we were told; “we must now look to the future”. The Albanian authorities intimated that their territory had not
    been affected by the conflict and that they had no reason to open an inquiry. The Serbian authorities did
    react, albeit rather belatedly, but so far without having achieved any significant results. For its part the ICTY
    carried out an exploratory mission to the site of the notorious “Yellow House”, though proceeding in a fairly
    superficial way and with a standard of professionalism that prompts some bewilderment. In addition, the
    ICTY’s mandate was restricted to a clearly defined timeframe and territory: the international tribunal was
    enjoined to try those suspected of crimes committed only up to June 1999, marking the end of the Kosovo
    conflict, and its jurisdiction does not extend to Albania, except in instances where Albania expressly
    authorises investigations to take place on its territory.
    4. The acts with which we are presently concerned are alleged to have occurred for the most part from
    the summer of 1999 onwards, against a background of great confusion throughout the region. The Serbian
    security forces had abandoned Kosovo, and the troops of KFOR (NATO’s international Kosovo Stabilisation
    Force) were making a rather slow start in establishing themselves; while tens of thousands of Kosovar
    Albanian refugees were originally trying to reach Albania and then to return home, with ethnic Serbs in turn
    seeking refuge in the territories controlled by the Serbian Army. It was chaos: there was no functioning
    administration on the part of the Kosovars, and KFOR took quite some time to gain control of the situation,
    evidently not possessing the know-how needed to cope with such extreme situations. The NATO intervention
    had essentially taken the form of an aerial campaign, with bombing in Kosovo and in Serbia – operations
    thought by some to have infringed international law, as they were not authorised by the UN Security Council
    – while on the ground NATO’s de facto ally was the KLA. Thus, during the critical period that is the focus of
    our inquiry, the KLA had effective control over an expansive territorial area, encompassing Kosovo as well as
    some of the border regions in the north of Albania. KLA control should not be understood as a structured
    exercise of power, and it was certainly far from assuming the contours of a state. It was in the course of this
    critical period that numerous crimes were committed both against Serbs who had stayed in the region and
    against Kosovar Albanians suspected of having been “traitors” or “collaborators”, or who fell victim to internal
    rivalries within the KLA. These crimes have largely gone unpunished and it is only years later that a rather
    diffident start has been made in dealing with them.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    7
    5. During this chaotic phase, the border between Kosovo and Albania effectively ceased to exist. There
    was no form of control in effect, and it would hardly have been possible to enforce rules anyway, considering
    the heavy flow of refugees towards Albania and their return in similar numbers after the end of the hostilities.
    During a field mission on behalf of the Swiss Parliament in 1999, I was able to witness for myself the scale of
    this phenomenon; I noted above all the singular solidarity shown by the Albanian population and authorities
    in receiving the Kosovar refugees. It was in this context that KLA militia factions moved freely on either side
    of the border, which, as pointed out, had by then become little more than a token dividing line. So it is clear
    that the KLA held effective control in the region during that critical period, both in Kosovo and in the northern
    part of Albania near the border. The international forces co-operated with the KLA as the local authority in
    military operations and the restoration of order. It was as a result of this situation that certain crimes
    committed by members of the KLA, including some top KLA leaders, were effectively concealed and have
    remained unpunished.
    6. The crimes committed by the Serb forces have been documented, denounced and, to the extent
    possible, tried in courts of law. The frightful nature of these crimes hardly needs to be further illustrated.
    These crimes stemmed from a wicked policy ordered by Milosevic over a lengthy period, including at times
    when he was simultaneously being accorded full diplomatic honours in the capitals of many democratic
    states. These crimes claimed tens of thousands of victims and disrupted a whole region of our continent. In
    the Kosovo conflict, the ethnic Albanian population suffered horrendous violence as the result of an insane
    ethnic cleansing policy on the part of the dictator then in power in Belgrade. None of these historical events
    could be cast in doubt today. However, what emerged in parallel was a climate and a tendency according to
    which led to all these events and acts were viewed through a lens that depicted everything as rather too
    clear-cut: on one side the Serbs, who were seen as the evil oppressors, and on the other side the Kosovar
    Albanians, who were seen as the innocent victims. In the horror and perpetration of crimes there can be no
    principle of compensation. The basic essence of justice demands that everyone be treated in the same way.
    Moreover, the duty to find the truth and administer justice must be discharged in order for genuine peace to
    be restored, and for the different communities to be reconciled and begin living and working together.
    7. Yet in the case of Kosovo, the prevailing logic appears to have been rather short-sighted: restore a
    semblance of order as quickly as possible, while avoiding anything that might be liable to destabilise a region
    still in a state of very fragile equilibrium. The result has been a form of justice that can only be defined as
    selective, with impunity attaching to many of the crimes that appear, based on credible indications, to have
    been directly or indirectly the work of top KLA leaders. The Western countries that engaged themselves in
    Kosovo had refrained from a direct intervention on the ground, preferring recourse to air strikes, and had
    thus taken on the KLA as their indispensable ally for ground operations. The international actors chose to
    turn a blind eye to the war crimes of the KLA, placing a premium instead on achieving some degree of shortterm
    stability. In effect the new Kosovo has been built on the existing structures of the Kosovar Albanian
    homeland movement. It follows that the successive international administrations put in place, as well as the
    US Government, which is generally regarded as playing an important role in the affairs of the new Kosovo2,
    have had to maintain good relations with their de facto allies on the ground, as the latter have become the
    new masters of the local political scene. This situation, as we emphasised above, has ultimately foiled the
    prospect of our getting to the bottom of the crimes committed, at least in cases where there is every
    indication that they were the misdeeds of persons in positions of power or close to those in power. An added
    problem is that the resources of the international administration under UNMIK were insufficient, both in
    quantity and in quality, for the task of prosecuting the crimes committed in an effective and impartial manner.
    The posting of most international staff to UNMIK on limited-term contracts, and the resultant perpetual
    rotation, caused a major hindrance to the administration of justice. International officials told us that it had
    been impossible to maintain confidentiality of their sources – an element considered essential to the success
    of a criminal investigation – in particular because of their reliance on local interpreters who would often pass
    on information to the persons being investigated. As a result, EULEX has had to bring in interpreters from
    other countries in order securely to conduct its most sensitive inquiries. The same sources told us that the
    approach of the international community could be aptly encapsulated in the notion of “stability and peace at
    any cost”. Obviously such an approach implied not falling out with the local actors in power.
    8. The EULEX mission, operational since the end of 2008, thus inherited an extremely difficult situation.
    Numerous files on war crimes, notably those in which KLA combatants were listed as suspects, were turned
    over by UNMIK in a deplorable condition (mislaid evidence and witness statements, long time lapses in
    following up on incomplete investigative steps), to the extent that EULEX officials stated their fears in quite
    2 The United States of America has an Embassy endowed with impressive resources and a military base, Camp Bondsteel, of a scale
    and significance that clearly transcends regional considerations.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    8
    explicit terms during our fact-finding visits that many files would simply have to be abandoned3. Some of our
    contacts representing Kosovo’s nascent civil society did not hold back in criticising EULEX itself: it had been
    widely expected that EULEX would at last go after the “untouchables”, whose more than murky past was
    common knowledge. Yet these expectations were in vain: there had been many announcements and
    promises, but the tangible results remained to be seen. The case of Nazim Bllaca, the “whistle-blower” who
    admitted publicly to having carried out murders upon the orders of some of today’s high-ranking politicians, is
    emblematic. Four days elapsed before the man was arrested and placed under protection. The way in
    which EULEX deals with his case will be an important test of how far it is prepared to go in pursuing its
    mission to promote justice.
    9. One must nevertheless commend the remarkable dedication of many EULEX staff – at time of writing
    some 1,600 international executives and 1,100 local employees – and their determination to confront the
    extraordinary challenge handed to them. Their efforts are beginning to yield tangible results, notably with
    regard to the cases of the detention camp at Kukës and the Medicus Clinic in Pristina. Yet it is imperative
    that EULEX is given more explicit and more resolute support from the highest levels of European politics.
    There can be no lingering ambiguity as to the need to pursue all those suspected of crimes, even in cases
    where the suspects hold important institutional and political positions. Similarly, EULEX must urgently be
    given access to the complete sets of records compiled by international agencies that previously operated in
    Kosovo, including KFOR files that have since been returned to the troop-contributing countries4, and files
    compiled by the ICTY5. According to the key practitioners working on the ground, there ought to be a
    common, unified database comprising the archives of all the international actors, readily accessible to
    EULEX investigators. One is left to wonder what might possibly be the reasons put forward for failing to fulfil
    such a basic demand.
    10. The Kosovo Police (KP), multiethnic in its make-up, is professionally trained, well-equipped and
    apparently effective in fighting petty crime or less serious forms of criminality. With over 7,200 uniformed
    officers and more than 1,100 support staff, the KP comprises representatives of 13 ethnic groups, including
    10% of ethnic Serbs. According to recent surveys, the KP is second only to KFOR among all the institutions
    in Kosovo in the high levels of public trust it enjoys. Senior international officials have also confirmed that
    the police are “decent”, whereas the judges are “problematic” – in the sense of being subject to intimidation,
    under political influence, or corrupt. Assessments of the police nevertheless varied among the observers
    whom we met. The KP still has to prove itself and to win the full confidence of its international partners,
    including its counterparts in the EULEX mission. We sensed lingering doubts among internationals as to
    whether or not all the leaders of the police force share the necessary political resolve to go after all forms of
    crime in the most robust fashion possible; especially where the police are called upon to combat organised
    crime, and / or crimes in which highly placed political figures are implicated; and notably in ensuring truly
    effective protection of witnesses, a very sensitive and vital tool in the prosecution of the most notorious and
    dangerous criminals.
    11. Corruption and organised crime constitute a major problem in the region, as several international
    studies have shown. The problem is aggravated by the fact that criminality, corruption and politics are so
    closely intertwined. The massive presence of international staff does not appear to have made things any
    better, and indeed has given rise to some rather perverse anomalies; for example, a driver or a cleaner
    working for an international organisation or a foreign Embassy invariably earns appreciably more than a
    police officer or a judge, which is bound to upset the scales of societal values.
    12. The most pressing priority from a humanitarian perspective is to account for the fate of missing
    persons in relation to the Kosovo conflict. The number of disappearances is extremely high when one
    considers the modest size of Kosovo’s population. Out of a total of 6,005 cases of missing persons opened
    by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), some 1,400 persons have been found alive and it
    has been possible to discover and identify 2,500 bodies. Most of the deceased victims were identified as
    Kosovar Albanians, half of whom were exhumed from mass graves discovered on Serbian territory and the
    other half in Kosovo. In addition there are 1,869 missing persons who remain unaccounted for, about two-
    3 The “UNMIK legacy” was described to us in the form of a vivid image that scarcely requires further comment, as “300,000 pages in
    disarray”.
    4 We learned that certain KFOR contributors (for example the United Kingdom) took all their records away with them; and that these
    records were subsequently made accessible to EULEX investigators only on the basis of reasoned case-by-case applications, a
    complex procedure which considerably slows down the work of justice.
    5 At the time of our visit in January 2010, EULEX investigators were not always able to access to the ICTY’s files, but the ICTY
    Prosecutor is more recently reported to have assured EULEX that access would be granted imminently.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    9
    thirds of whom are Kosovar Albanians. 470 missing persons disappeared after the arrival of KFOR troops
    on 12 June 1999, 95 of whom were Kosovar Albanians and 375 non-Albanians, mainly Serbs6.
    13. In assessing these disappearances, it is apt to note that many Kosovar Albanian families who lost a
    relative after 12 June 1999 reportedly declared an earlier date of disappearance, before this “cut-off date”,
    out of fear that their loved ones might be deemed to have been “traitors” to the cause, punished by the KLA.
    It is significant that Kosovo’s law on compensation for the families of “martyrs” expressly excludes persons
    who died after the arrival of KFOR. As to the law on compensation for the families of missing persons, which
    is still under discussion, the stated position of the Kosovo authorities is that the law should cover only those
    disappearances that occurred after 1 January 1999 and before 12 June 1999. This position serves to
    demonstrate just how sensitive the matter of the missing Kosovar Albanians remains to the present day.
    According to several of our informants, the matter is still considered utterly taboo and continues to form a
    serious impediment to the discovery of the truth. The hunt for “traitors” has often overshadowed the bloody
    feuding between internal factions of the KLA, and served to cover up the crimes committed by KLA members
    and affiliates.
    14. The current Office for Missing Persons and Forensics7 has cited great difficulties in working with the
    often poor-quality documentation handed down by its predecessors8; it also apparently has trouble
    motivating and retaining its staff, who are said to be underpaid considering the qualifications required.
    Efforts to determine the fate of missing persons have also suffered from a clear deficit in co-operation
    between the various international agencies and the Kosovo authorities, not to mention with the competent
    authorities of Albania. While Serbia did co-operate, albeit not without initial misgivings, in efforts to excavate
    suspected mass graves in its territory, such investigative steps have proved far more complicated in the
    territory of Kosovo9, and up to now have been impossible on the territory of Albania10. The co-operation of
    the Kosovo authorities has been especially lacking in relation to the 470 cases of disappearances that
    officially occurred after the end of the conflict11. The lack of co-operation by the authorities of Kosovo and
    Albania in determining the fate of the missing Serbs, and even Kosovar Albanians thought to have fallen
    victim to crimes committed by members of the KLA, raises grave doubts about the current level of political
    will to establish the whole truth concerning these events.
    15. The Working Group on Missing Persons chaired by the ICRC, in conjunction with the OMPF, needs
    the wholehearted support of the international community to overcome the reluctance that exists on all sides.
    Such support should be offered not least in the interests of the missing persons’ surviving relatives, whose
    anguish continues to form a significant obstacle to reconciliation.
    16. We have already recalled the manner in which the allegations of organ trafficking were made public,
    assumed international dimensions, and prompt PACE to call for the preparation of this report. There was
    extensive discussion around the so-called “Yellow House”, located in Rripe, near Burrel, in central Albania –
    to the point where this house appeared to have monopolised the public’s attention. However, upon
    reflection, the house was merely one element among many in a far larger and more complex episode. It is
    true that the whole story seems to have begun with the revelations about the “Yellow House”. In February
    2004, an exploratory visit to the site was organised jointly by the ICTY and UNMIK, with the participation of a
    journalist. This visit cannot in fact be regarded as a proper forensic examination according to all the
    technical rules. Participants in the visit whom we interviewed explicitly condemned a certain lack of
    professionalism, particularly regarding the taking of samples and the recording of scientific observations.
    Nonetheless, the demeanour of some members of the K. family, who inhabit the house, raised a number of
    6 The figures quoted here were provided by the Office of Missing Persons and Forensics (OMPF), with regard to cases still unresolved
    at the beginning of 2010. The ICRC speaks of about 1000 missing persons after KFOR’s arrival, most of them Serbs but also Albanian
    Kosovars regarded as “traitors”.
    7 The Office for Missing Persons and Forensics (OMPF) is currently co-headed by a EULEX official and a Kosovar official; this body was
    created, we were told, “to clean up the mess left behind by UNMIK and the ICTY”.
    8 This difficulty was said to be most acute with regard to cases that arose during the period of “chaos” from June to late October 1999.
    KFOR soldiers were evidently unqualified to carry out police work and their crime scene reports were said to be mostly unusable.
    9 An example with which we were confronted during our fact-finding visit to Pristina concerned excavations in a mineshaft where some
    thirty bodies of deceased Serbs were said to be buried. The local construction companies employed to do the work were threatened by
    members of the local community, which caused considerable delay in carrying out the explorations. According to what we have been
    told, the prevailing attitude among the Kosovar population is to regard as a “traitor” anyone who provides information regarding mass
    graves containing Serb victims.
    10 EULEX investigators informed us that the level of co-operation from the Albanian authorities was “nil”. The reply, after several
    months, to a request for international legal assistance (concerning the camp at Kukës) was that the requested investigations were
    “delayed by a natural disaster”. Other international officials also confirmed the “strong resistance” of the Kosovar authorities to cooperating
    in efforts to solve cases of missing Serbs or alleged Kosovar Albanian “traitors”. The consistent refrain of the Albanian
    authorities towards Albania never allowed exhumations in its territory. “There was no war here, so there are no graves to look for”.
    11 There is said to exist some degree of reluctance even within the OMPF concerning the disappearances that occurred after 12 June
    1999.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    10
    questions, notably about the differing and contradictory explanations they offered, one after the other, as to
    the presence of bloodstains (detected by use of Luminol) in the vicinity of a table in the main room. The
    family patriarch stated originally that farm animals had been slaughtered and cut up there. Another
    explanation given was that one of the women in the household had given birth to one of her children in the
    same place.
    17. Neither the ICTY nor UNMIK, nor indeed the Albanian Public Prosecutor’s Office, followed up this visit
    by conducting any more thorough inquiries. The Albanian investigator who took part in this site visit
    moreover hastened to assert publicly that no leads of any kind had been found. The physical samples
    collected at the scene were subsequently destroyed by the ICTY, after being photographed, as the current
    Chief Prosecutor of the ICTY confirmed to me in a letter12. We must permit ourselves to express
    astonishment that such a step was taken.
    18. Nor did the team of the Special Prosecutor for War Crimes in Belgrade come up with very concrete
    results in this matter, notwithstanding their considerable efforts. The media whirlwind that surrounded the
    inquiry certainly did nothing to enhance its effectiveness. We thank the special prosecutor for his cooperation
    and readiness to assist.
    19. The teams of international prosecutors and investigators in the EULEX mission charged with
    investigating the allegations of inhuman treatment, including those relating to possible instances of organ
    trafficking, have made some progress, notably towards proving the existence of secret KLA detention
    facilities in northern Albania, where murders are also alleged to have been committed. However, EULEX’s
    inquiries have so far been hampered by a lack of co-operation on the part of the Albanian authorities, who
    have failed to respond to the specific, detailed requests for judicial assistance submitted to them. At the time
    of writing, EULEX has still not had access to the complete set of records compiled by the ICTY in this area of
    investigation.
    20. A further investigation, also carried out by EULEX, into the case of the Medicus Clinic in Pristina, has
    been made similarly difficult by the delays on the part of the authorities of several Council of Europe member
    and observer countries in responding to EULEX requests for international legal assistance13. Considering the
    gravity of the acts alleged – trafficking in human organs, no less – such delays are incomprehensible and
    unconscionable. It should be recalled that the initial investigation had led to several arrests of suspects in
    November 2008. Arrest warrants have since been issued in respect of other suspects currently at large14.
    This investigation serves as further proof of the existence in the region of criminal structures and networks, in
    which medical practitioners are also implicated, operating in the region as part of an international traffic in
    human organs, notwithstanding the presence of international forces. We believe that there are sufficiently
    serious and substantial indications to demonstrate that that this form of trafficking long pre-dates the
    Medicus case, and that certain KLA leaders and affiliates have been implicated in it previously. Certainly the
    indications are too strong to countenance any failure, at long last, to conduct a serious, independent and
    thorough inquiry.
    21. We have learned at first hand how difficult it is to reconstruct events in Kosovo during the troubled and
    chaotic period of 1999-2000. With the exception of a few EULEX investigators, there has been and remains
    a lack of resolve to ascertain the truth of what happened during that period, and assign responsibilities
    accordingly. The raft of evidence that exists against certain top KLA leaders appears largely to account for
    this reluctance. There were witnesses to the events who were eliminated, and others too terrified by the
    mere fact of being questioned on these events. Such witnesses have no confidence whatsoever in the
    protective measures that they might be granted. We ourselves had to take meticulous precautions in respect
    of certain interlocutors to assure them of the strictest anonymity. We nevertheless found them trustworthy
    and were able to establish that their statements were confirmed by objectively verifiable facts. Our aim was
    not, however, to conduct a criminal investigation. But we can claim to have gathered compelling enough
    evidence to demand forcefully that the international bodies and the states concerned finally take every step
    to ensure that the truth is ascertained and the culprits clearly identified and called to account for their acts.
    The signs of collusion between the criminal class and high political and institutional office bearers are too
    numerous and too serious to be ignored. It is a fundamental right of Kosovo’s citizens to know the truth, the
    12 Serge Brammertz, ICTY Chief Prosecutor, in a letter to me dated 17 December 2009. In an interview I had with Madam Carla Del
    Ponte in 2009, the former Chief Prosecutor assured me that the materials in question should be stored in the ICTY’s archives and that
    their destruction was simply inconceivable.
    13 Such requests were made in March 2009 to the following countries: Belarus, Canada, Israel, Germany, Moldova, Poland, Russian
    Federation, and Turkey. At the time of writing, only Canada was said to have provided a satisfactory response.
    14 See the EULEX press release of 15 October 2010: http://www.eulex-kosovo.eu/en/pressreleases/0098.php; and the report by Nebi
    Qena (AP), 12 November 2010: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101112/...fficking/print
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    11
    whole truth, and also an indispensable condition for reconciliation between the communities and the
    country’s prosperous future.
    22. Before going into further detail regarding our investigations, I should like to express my appreciation to
    all those who helped me in carrying out this difficult and delicate assignment. First and foremost I thank the
    Committee Secretariat, assisted by an outside expert, as well as the authorities of the states we visited, and
    the able, courageous investigative journalists who shared certain information with us. I also owe special
    gratitude to the persons who have trusted in our professionalism, not least in our earnest duty to protect their
    identities so as not to place them in any danger.
    2. Introductory commentary on sources
    23. In the course of our inquiry, we have obtained testimonial and documentary accounts from several
    dozen primary sources, notably including: combatants and affiliates of various armed factions that
    participated in the hostilities in Kosovo; direct victims of violent crimes committed in Kosovo and the
    surrounding territories; family members of missing or deceased persons; current and former representatives
    of international justice institutions with jurisdiction over the events in Kosovo [primarily the United Nations
    Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX), and the International
    Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY)]; representatives of national justice systems, including
    prosecutors with jurisdiction over events related to Kosovo [Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor in Belgrade;
    Office of the General Prosecutor in Tirana; prosecutors, police officers and state security officials in Pristina
    and in three surrounding states]; humanitarian agencies [including the International Committee of the Red
    Cross (ICRC) and the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP)]; and various members of civil
    society and human rights monitoring bodies who have investigated and reported on events related to Kosovo
    in the material period [including the Humanitarian Law Centre].
    24. Naturally we have tried wherever possible to take these testimonies directly ourselves, either through
    on-the-record meetings or through confidential interviews, in the course of visiting Pristina, Tirana, Belgrade
    and other parts of the Balkan region. However, for a variety of reasons – including their “disappearance”, for
    security reasons, their relocation overseas, and the constraints of our official programme of meetings while
    on mission in the region – some of the sources who provided these testimonies have not been available to
    meet with us in person.
    25. Moreover, we have faced the same obstacles to obtaining truthful testimony about the alleged crimes
    of Kosovar Albanians as have other investigative bodies throughout the past decade. The entrenched sense
    of loyalty to one’s clansmen, and the concept of honour that was perhaps best captured in expert reporting to
    the ICTY in its deliberations in the case of Limaj et al.,15 rendered most ethnic Albanian witnesses
    unreachable for us. Having seen two prominent prosecutions undertaken by the ICTY leading to the deaths
    of so many witnesses, and ultimately a failure to deliver justice16, a Parliamentary Assembly Rapporteur with
    only paltry resources in comparison was hardly likely to overturn the odds of such witnesses speaking to us
    directly.
    26. Numerous persons who have worked for many years in Kosovo, and who have become among the
    most respected commentators on justice in the region, counseled us that organized criminal networks of
    Albanians (“the Albanian mafia”) in Albania itself, in neighbouring territories including Kosovo and ‘the former
    Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’, and in the Diaspora, were probably more difficult to penetrate than the
    Cosa Nostra; even low-level operatives would rather take a jail term of decades, or a conviction for contempt,
    than turn in their clansmen.
    27. Thus, out of necessity and only where appropriate, we have relied on audio and video recordings of
    interviews with key sources conducted by others. In such instances we have undertaken every possible step
    to establish the identity, authenticity and credibility of the sources for ourselves; we have compared their
    testimonies with information from separate, independent sources of which they could have had no
    knowledge; and we have gained first-hand insights from the interviewers into the circumstances and
    conditions in which the interviews were conducted.
    15 See Expert Report quoted in the Limaj judgement.
    16 Carla del Ponte herself said of the Limaj trial that “the impunity that feeds upon fear was allowed to prevail”: see del Ponte and
    Sudetic, The Hunt, Chapter 11: Confronting Kosovo, at page 26.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    12
    28. The interviewers who conducted these interviews include representatives of law enforcement
    authorities in several different countries, academic researchers, and investigative journalists of recognised
    repute and credibility. We have always insisted on corroboration of testimony.
    3. Detailed findings of our inquiry
    3.1 The overall picture
    29. The overall picture that emerges from our inquiry differs dramatically in several respects from the
    conventional portrayal of the Kosovo conflict. Indeed, while there was certainly an intensely fought battle for
    the destiny of the territory of Kosovo, there were very few instances in which opposing armed factions
    confronted one another on any kind of military frontlines.
    30. The abhorrent abuses of the Serb military and police structures in trying to subjugate and ultimately to
    expel the ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo are well known and documented.
    31. The evidence we have uncovered is perhaps most significant in that it often contradicts the muchtouted
    image of the Kosovo Liberation Army, or KLA, as a guerrilla army that fought valiantly to defend the
    right of its people to inhabit the territory of Kosovo.
    32. While there were undoubtedly numerous brave soldiers who were willing to go to the warfront, in the
    face of considerable adversity, and if necessary die for the cause of an independent Kosovar Albanian
    motherland, these fighters were not necessarily in the majority.
    33. From the testimony we have managed to amass, the policy and strategy of some KLA leaders were
    much more complex than a simple agenda to overpower their Serb oppressors.
    34. On the one hand, the KLA leadership coveted recognition and support from foreign partners including,
    notably, the United States Government. Towards this end the KLA’s internationally well-connected
    “spokesmen” had to fulfil certain promises to their partners and sponsors, and / or adhere to particular terms
    of engagement that were the de facto conditions of their receiving support from overseas.
    35. On the other hand, though, a number of the senior commanders of the KLA have reportedly not failed
    to profit from the war, including by securing material and personal benefits for themselves. They wanted to
    secure access to resources for themselves and their family / clan members, notably through positions of
    power in political office, or in lucrative industries such as petroleum, construction and real estate. They
    wanted to avenge what they perceived as historical injustices perpetrated against the Albanian population in
    the former Yugoslavia. And many of them were seemingly bent on profiteering to the maximum of their
    potential while they had operational control of certain lawless territories (e.g. in parts of southern and western
    Kosovo), and leverage – especially in terms of financial resources – with which to negotiate footholds for
    themselves in other territories (e.g. in Albania).
    36. The reality is that the most significant operational activities undertaken by members of the KLA – prior
    to, during, and in the immediate aftermath of the conflict – took place on the territory of Albania, where the
    Serb security forces were never deployed.
    3.2 KLA factionalism and the nexus with organised crime
    37. For more than two years after its initial emergence in 1996, the KLA was regarded as a marginal,
    loosely organised insurgency, whose attacks on the Yugoslav state were held by Western observers to
    amount to acts of “terrorism”.
    38. Our sources close to the KLA, along with the testimonies of captured KLA members gathered by Serb
    police, confirm that the main locations at which KLA recruits congregated and trained were in northern
    Albania.
    39. It is well established that weapons and ammunition were smuggled into parts of Kosovo, often on
    horseback, through clandestine, mountainous routes from northern Albania. Serb police attributed these
    events to criminal raids on the part of bandits who wanted to carry out terrorist acts against Serbian security
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    13
    forces. The Albanian Kosovars and Albanian citizens who were involved in the smuggling operations
    presented them as heroic acts of resistance in the face of Serb oppression.
    40. The domestic strengthening of the KLA, in terms of its fighting capability as well as its credibility
    among the Kosovo Albanian population, seemed to play out, especially in the course of 1998, along the
    same trajectory as the escalating brutality of the Serb military and police clampdown.
    41. Yet only in the second half of 1998, through explicit endorsements from Western powers, founded on
    strong lobbying from the United States, did the KLA secure its pre-eminence in international perception as
    the vanguard of the Kosovar Albanian liberation struggle.
    42. This perceived pre-eminence was the KLA’s most valuable, indispensable asset. It spurred the
    wealthiest donors in the Albanian Diaspora to channel significant funds to the KLA. It bestowed individual
    KLA representatives with an enhanced authority to speak and act on behalf of the Kosovar Albanians as a
    whole. And it cast the KLA’s leading personalities as the most likely powerbrokers in the Kosovo that would
    emerge from the war.
    43. Indeed, the perception of KLA pre-eminence – largely created by the Americans – was a self-fulfilling
    prophecy, the bedrock upon which the KLA achieved actual ascendancy over other Kosovar Albanian
    constituencies with designs on power, such as Ibrahim Rugova’s Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and
    Bujar Bukoshi’s “Government-in-exile”.
    44. According to our insider sources, the KLA fought just as hard, and devoted arguably more of its
    resources and political capital, to maintain its advantage over its ethnic Albanian rival factions as it did to
    carry out co-ordinated military actions against the Serbs.
    45. At the same time it should be restated, for emphasis, that the KLA was not a single, unitary combatant
    faction in the manner of a conventional Army. There was no formally appointed overall leader, or
    “commander-in-chief”, whose authority was universally recognised by the other commanders and whose
    orders were met with compliance among all the rank and file.
    46. Rather, as the struggle over Kosovo’s future governance evolved, and a full-blown conflict
    approached, the KLA was divided by a deep-rooted internal factionalism.
    47. Important sources of division included divergent political ambitions, as well as disparate notions of the
    acceptable parameters of violent resistance, on the part of the KLA’s most prominent personalities and
    leadership contenders.
    48. Thus there emerged in 1998 and 1999, and particularly in the wake of the death of the KLA’s
    celebrated peasant commander Adem Jashari17, several different KLA “splinter groups”.
    49. Each of these splinter groups was led by one of the KLA’s self-proclaimed founder members. Each
    group comprised a loyal core of recruits and supporters, often drawn from among a few closely affiliated
    clans or families, and / or concentrated in an identifiable geographical territory of Kosovo. Each group
    identified their own leader as the brightest hope to lead the KLA’s fight against the Serbs, and by extension,
    to achieve self-determination for the Kosovar Albanian people, whilst co-operating with the other KLA
    commanders on the basis of expediency.
    50. Evidently it is the composition and leadership of these KLA “splinter groups”, along with the
    pre-existing popularity of the LDK, which carried over beyond the liberation struggle and have essentially
    shaped the post-conflict political landscape of Kosovo18.
    51. Incumbency of the highest executive offices in Kosovo has been shared among former leading KLA
    commanders for the last decade, and most political campaigns have been contested on the basis of the
    17 The KLA had grown domestically throughout most of the 1990s by rallying the support of volunteer fighters – men of all ages in their
    respective villages – to coalesce around leaders like Adem Jashari and form small armed units, or “brigades” across the territory of
    Kosovo. Many of the recruits to this “homeland KLA”, effectively a peasant army, undertook guerrilla warfare training at camps in
    northern Albania, and smuggled arms into Kosovo with which to undertake acts of violent resistance. Our inquiry received more than a
    dozen testimonies of ethnic Albanian males who had taken part in this campaign of “resistance”. With the killing of Jashari and scores
    of his family members and associates in a clampdown by Serb security forces in1998, this initial incarnation of the KLA was effectively
    ended, and has gravitated into folklore as a romantic notion of Kosovar liberation, with Jashari as its martyr.
    18 The main rival political parties in recent election cycles have included the Democratic Party of Kosovo (Partia Demokratike e Kosovës,
    or PDK), and the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (Aleanca për Ardhmërinë e Kosovës, or AAK), both of which are led by commanders
    of former KLA “splinter groups” and count large number of former KLA operatives among their members.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    14
    candidates’ respective contributions to the liberation struggle, as well as the extent to which they are seen as
    being able to promote the interests of the Kosovar Albanian people on an ongoing basis against known and
    unknown adversaries.
    52. The various KLA “splinter groups” I refer to have been found to have developed and maintained their
    own intelligence structures, among other forms of self-preservation. Through whatever means available to
    them, and clearly on the fringes of the legal and regulatory systems, the keenest purveyors of this de facto
    form of continued KLA warfare have conducted surveillance of, and often sought to sabotage, the activities
    of their opponents and those who might jeopardise their political or business interests.19
    53. Furthermore we found20 that the structures of KLA units had been shaped, to a significant degree,
    according to the hierarchies, allegiances and codes of honour that prevail among the ethnic Albanian clans,
    or extended families, and which form a de facto set of laws, known as the Kanun, in the regions of Kosovo
    from which their commanders originated.
    54. Based on analytical information we received from several international monitoring missions,
    corroborated by our own sources in European law enforcement agencies and among former KLA fighters,
    we found that the main KLA units and their respective zones of operational command corresponded in an
    almost perfect mirror image to the structures that controlled the various forms of organised crime in the
    territories in which the KLA was active.
    55. Put simply, establishing which circle of KLA commanders and affiliates was in charge of a particular
    region where the KLA operated in Kosovo, and indeed in certain parts of the Republic of Albania, was the
    key to understanding who was running the bulk of the particular trafficking or smuggling activity that
    flourished there.
    56. Most pertinent to our research, we found that a small but inestimably powerful group of KLA
    personalities apparently wrested control of most of the illicit criminal enterprises in which Kosovar Albanians
    were involved in the Republic of Albania, beginning at the latest in 1998.
    57. This group of prominent KLA personalities styled itself as the “Drenica Group”, evoking connections
    with the Drenica Valley in Kosovo21, a traditional heartland of ethnic Albanian resistance to Serb oppression
    under Milosevic, and the birthplace of the KLA.
    58. We found that the “Drenica Group” had as its chief – or, to use the terminology of organised crime
    networks, its “boss” – the renowned political operator and perhaps most internationally recognised
    personality of the KLA, Hashim Thaqi22.
    59. Thaqi can be seen to have spearheaded the KLA’s rise to pre-eminence in the lead-up to the
    Rambouillet negotiations, both on the ground in Kosovo, and overseas. He also did much to foment the
    bitter internal factionalism that characterised the KLA throughout 1998 and 1999.
    60. On the one hand, Thaqi undoubtedly owed his personal elevation to having secured political and
    diplomatic endorsement23 from the United States and other Western powers, as the preferred domestic
    partner in their foreign policy project in Kosovo. This form of political support bestowed upon Thaqi, not least
    in his own mind, a sense of being “untouchable” and an unparalleled viability as Kosovo’s post-war leader-inwaiting.
    61. On the other hand, according to well-substantiated intelligence reports that we have examined
    thoroughly and corroborated through interviews in the course of our inquiry, Thaqi’s “Drenica Group” built a
    formidable power base in the organised criminal enterprises that were flourishing in Kosovo and Albania at
    the time.
    19 We have noted the remarkable confessions of a man named Nazim Bllaca, who came forward last year and testified as to the use of
    these intelligence structures in targeted killings and different forms of racketeering; Bllaca’s depiction of this secret underworld is one we
    recognise from our own research.
    20 In this regard our findings correspond with those of international representatives of military and intelligence monitoring missions –
    from NATO’s Kosovo Stabilisation Force (KFOR), to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), to the United
    States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) – in reports published at various points over the last fifteen years.
    21 In Kosovo itself, the area of influence of the Drenica Group and its affiliates went on to extend far beyond that particular locale,
    however: they exercised firm control over criminal cartels active in municipalities including, but not limited to, Istok, Srbica, Skenderaj,
    Klina, Prizren and Pristina.
    22 See Le Monde 11 December 2010.
    23 Thaqi was, for example, named as head delegate of the Kosovar Albanians to the Rambouillet Summit.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    15
    62. In this regard, Thaqi reportedly operated with support and complicity not only from Albania’s formal
    governance structures, including the Socialist Government in power at the time, but also from Albania’s
    secret services, and from the formidable Albanian mafia.
    63. Many KLA commanders remained on Albanian territory, some even operating out of the Albanian
    capital Tirana, throughout the ensuing hostilities and beyond.
    64. During the period of the NATO aerial bombardment, which lasted several weeks, perhaps the principal
    shift in the balance of power in Kosovo occurred as a result of the influx of foreigners into the region, in both
    overt and implicit support of the KLA cause. Unable to gain access directly to the territory of Kosovo, most of
    this foreign support was channelled through Albania.
    65. In tacit acknowledgement of the safe harbour afforded to them by the sympathetic Albanian
    authorities, but also because it was more practical and more convenient for them to continue operating on
    the terrain with which they were familiar, several of the KLA’s key commanders allegedly established
    protection rackets in the areas where their own clansmen were prevalent in Albania, or where they could find
    common cause with established organised criminals involved in such activities as human trafficking, sale of
    stolen motor vehicles, and the sex trade.
    66. Notably, in confidential reports spanning more than a decade, agencies dedicated to combating drug
    smuggling in at least five countries have named Hashim Thaqi and other members of his “Drenica Group” as
    having exerted violent control over the trade in heroin and other narcotics24.
    67. Similarly, intelligence analysts working for NATO, as well as those in the service of at least four
    independent foreign Governments, made compelling findings through their intelligence-gathering related to
    the immediate aftermath of the conflict in 1999.25 Thaqi was commonly identified, and cited in secret
    intelligence reports, as the most dangerous of the KLA’s “criminal bosses”.26
    68. Several further known members of Thaqi’s “Drenica Group” have been indicated to us in the course of
    our research to have played vital roles as co-conspirators in various categories of criminal activity. They
    include Xhavit Haliti, Kadri Veseli, Azem Syla, and Fatmir Limaj. All of these men have been investigated
    repeatedly in the last decade as suspects in war crimes or organised criminal enterprises, including in major
    cases led by prosecutors under UNMIK, the ICTY27, and EULEX. To the present day, however, all of them
    have evaded effective justice.
    69. Everything leads us to believe that all of these men would have been convicted of serious crimes and
    would by now be serving lengthy prison sentences, but for two shocking dynamics that have consolidated
    their impunity: first, they appear to have succeeded in eliminating, or intimidating into silence, the majority of
    the potential and actual witnesses against them (both enemies and erstwhile allies), using violence, threats,
    blackmail, and protection rackets; and second, faltering political will on the part of the international
    community to effectively prosecute the former leaders of the KLA. This also seems to have allowed Thaqi –
    and by extension the other members of the “Drenica Group” to exploit their position in order to accrue
    personal wealth totally out of proportion with their declared activities.
    70. Thaqi and these other “Drenica Group” members are consistently named as “key players” in
    intelligence reports on Kosovo’s mafia-like structures of organised crime.28 I have examined these diverse,
    voluminous reports with consternation and a sense of moral outrage.
    24 For example, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said in a report in spring 1999 that drug smuggling organisations composed
    of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians were considered “second only to Turkish gangs as the predominant heroin smugglers along the Balkan
    route”.
    25 These are the German (BND), Italian (Sismi), British (MI6) and Greek (EYP) intelligence services.
    26 See, e.g., the report of the IEP (Institut für Europäische Politik, Berlin) of 9 January 2007 prepared for the German Federal Ministry of
    Defence (“Operationalisierung von Security Sector Reform (SSR) auf dem Westlichen Balkan – intelligente/kreative Ansätze für eine
    langfristig positive Gestaltung dieser Region”); document classified as secret and yet accessible on Internet; at page 57 the authors
    indicate that "Thaqi is considered, in security circles, as much more dangerous than Haradinaj, who as former head of KLA possesses a
    wider international network." (my own translation) Another report of the German secret service (Bundesnachrichtendienst/BND),
    similarly available on Internet (BND Analyse vom 22.02.2005), names Messrs Thaqi, Lluka and Haradinaj as key personalities of
    organised crime in Kosovo and explores in particular, in 27 pages of thorough analysis, the ramifications of the "Drenica Group". We did
    not limit ourselved to the study of these reports, and other sources, but we interviewed a number of persons who had been involved, at
    ground level, in the preparation of these reports.
    27 Fatmir Limaj, a former senior-ranking KLA commander, was indicted, tried and ultimately acquitted by the ICTY in a trial that
    encountered many problems with the integrity of evidence.
    28 In the course of the last ten years, intelligence services from several Western European countries, law enforcement agencies
    including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States, and analysts of several nationalities working within NATO
    structures have prepared authoritative, well-sourced, corroborated reports on the unlawful activities of this “Drenica Group”.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    16
    71. What is particularly confounding is that all of the international community in Kosovo – from the
    Governments of the United States and other allied Western powers, to the EU-backed justice authorities –
    undoubtedly possess the same, overwhelming documentation of the full extent of the Drenica Group’s
    crimes29, but none seems prepared to react in the face of such a situation and to hold the perpetrators to
    account.
    72. Our first-hand sources alone have credibly implicated Haliti, Veseli, Syla and Limaj, alongside Thaqi
    and other members of his inner circle, in having ordered – and in some cases personally overseen –
    assassinations, detentions, beatings and interrogations in various parts of Kosovo and, of particular interest
    to our work, in the context of KLA-led operations on the territory of Albania, between 1998 and 2000.
    73. Members of the “Drenica Group” are also said to have asserted control of substantial funds placed at
    the disposal of the KLA to support its war effort.30 In several instances this group was allegedly able to strike
    deals with established international networks of organised criminals, enabling expansion and diversification
    into new areas of “business”, and the opening of new smuggling routes into other parts of Europe.
    74. Specifically, in our determination, the leaders of the “Drenica Group” seem to bear the greatest
    responsibility for two sets of unacknowledged crimes described in this report: for running the KLA’s ad hoc
    network of detention facilities on the territory of Albania31; and for determining the fate of the prisoners who
    were held in those facilities, including the many abducted civilians brought over the border into Albania from
    Kosovo.
    75. In understanding how these crimes descended into a further form of inhumanity, namely the forcible
    extraction of human organs for the purposes of trafficking, we have identified another KLA personality who
    apparently belongs to the leading co-conspirators: Shaip Muja.
    76. Up to a point, Shaip Muja’s personal biography in the liberation struggle of the Kosovar Albanians
    resembles those of other “Drenica Group” members, including Hashim Thaqi himself: from student activist in
    the early 1990s32; to one of an elite group of KLA “Co-ordinators”, based in Albania33; to Cabinet member of
    the Provisional Government of Kosovo, and leading commander in the post-war Kosovo Protection Corps
    (KPC)34; reinvented as a civilian politician in the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK); and, finally, becoming
    an influential office-holder in the current Kosovo authorities35.
    77. The common thread running through all of Muja’s roles is his involvement in the medical sector. We
    do not take it lightly that this individual presents himself, and is accepted in many quarters, as “Dr. Shaip
    Muja”: purportedly not only a medical doctor and general surgeon, but also a humanitarian and progressive
    practitioner36.
    29 At a minimum, there is solid documentary evidence to demonstrate the involvement of this group, and its financial sponsors, in money
    laundering, smuggling of drugs and cigarettes, human trafficking, prostitution, and the violent monopolisation of Kosovo’s largest
    economic sectors including vehicle fuel and construction.
    30 Primarily these funds had been generated through contributions from the Kosovo Diaspora, and were held in foreign bank accounts,
    including in Germany and Switzerland. The finances available to Thaqi’s inner circle increased dramatically with the creation of a
    dedicated KLA fund known as Atdheu Thërret ("Homeland Calls").
    31 It is apt that I should acknowledge the excellent journalistic investigation of the Balkan Insight Reporters’ Network (BIRN), which
    reported on elements of the KLA’s network of detention camps in Albania in April 2009 (Altin Raxhimi, Vladimir Karaj, and Michael
    Montgomery).
    32 While Thaqi attended the University of Pristina and became identified as a leader in the Kosovar Albanian student movement, Muja
    studied cardiology at the University of Tirana and associated himself with the more militant elements of the Albanian resistance to Serb
    oppression in Kosovo.
    33 Muja was the overall “Medical Co-ordinator” for the KLA General Staff, a post in which he oversaw the provision of medical treatment
    for wounded KLA soldiers, as well as other emergency cases in KLA operational zones. Muja notably made use of the Military Hospital
    in Tirana, Albania, and administered extensive supplies and equipment acquired by the KLA through foreign donations. During 1998
    and 1999, as the official representative of the KLA, supported by elements in the Albanian Army and the Albanian secret services, Muja
    also administered a diverse array of other infrastructure: at least one helicopter; several well-funded construction projects; and
    makeshift accommodation arrangements – including private houses and apartments – for KLA commanders, recruits and affiliates who
    travelled into Albania from overseas, including those en route to Kosovo.
    34 Muja acted both as the Health / Medical Co-ordinator for the Provisional Government of Kosovo, under provisional Prime Minister
    Thaqi, and as Commander of the 40th Medical Battalion of the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC).
    35 At the time of writing, in December 2010, Shaip Muja serves in the administration of Hashim Thaqi as a senior Political Advisor in the
    Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility inter alia for the Health portfolio.
    36 Muja is widely credited, for example, with having played a role in the introduction of a “telemedicine” system to Kosovo, whereby
    health and surgical services can be administered with the assistance of doctors in remote locations, using Internet technology to link the
    participants.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    17
    78. We have uncovered numerous convergent indications of Muja’s central role for more than a decade in
    far less laudable international networks, comprising human traffickers, brokers of illicit surgical procedures,
    and other perpetrators of organised crime.
    79. These indications and elements of proof have prompted us to suspect that Muja has derived much of
    his access, his cover and his impunity as an organised criminal from having maintained an apparently
    legitimate medical “career” in parallel. There is an analogy to be drawn here with the way that Thaqi and
    other Drenica Group members have used their own roles in public office, and often in international
    diplomacy. The difference in Muja’s case is that his profile in organised crime is scarcely known outside of
    the criminal networks he has worked with and the few investigators who have tracked them.
    80. According to the testimonies of our sources who were party to KLA operations in Albania, as well as
    other military and political compatriots who know Shaip Muja intimately, Muja managed to acquire and retain
    crucial behind-the-scenes influence over the affairs of the KLA in the defining period in the late 1990s when it
    was garnering international support.
    81. Then, in the period of hostilities in northern Albania and around the Kosovo border, coinciding with the
    NATO intervention in 1999, Muja, in common with most of his fellow KLA commanders, reportedly stayed
    well clear of the frontlines, maintaining the KLA’s operational power base in Tirana.
    82. Together with Haliti and Veseli, in particular, Muja became involved in finding innovative ways to make
    use of, and to invest, the millions of dollars of “war funds” that had been donated to the KLA cause from
    overseas. Muja and Veseli reportedly also began, on behalf of the “Drenica Group”, to make connections
    with foreign private military and private security companies37.
    83. We found it particularly relevant that Thaqi’s “Drenica Group” can be seen to have seized such
    advantage from two principal changes in circumstances after 12 June 1999.
    84. First, the withdrawal of the Serb security forces from Kosovo had ceded into the hands of various KLA
    splinter groups, including Thaqi’s “Drenica Group”, effectively unfettered control of an expanded territorial
    area in which to carry out various forms of smuggling and trafficking.
    85. KFOR and UNMIK were incapable of administering Kosovo’s law enforcement, movement of peoples,
    or border control, in the aftermath of the NATO bombardment in 1999. KLA factions and splinter groups that
    had control of distinct areas of Kosovo (villages, stretches of road, sometimes even individual buildings)
    were able to run organised criminal enterprises almost at will, including in disposing of the trophies of their
    perceived victory over the Serbs.
    86. Second, Thaqi’s acquisition of a greater degree of political authority (Thaqi having appointed himself
    Prime Minister of the Provisional Government of Kosovo) had seemingly emboldened the “Drenica Group” to
    strike out all the more aggressively at perceived rivals, traitors, and persons suspected of being
    “collaborators” with the Serbs.
    87. Our sources told us that both KLA commanders and rank-and-file members were exasperated by the
    heavy toll inflicted on the ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo, particularly in 1998 and early 1999 before
    and during the NATO intervention. As the Serb police and paramilitary forces retreated from Kosovo in June
    1999, KLA units from northern Albania were deployed into Kosovo with the ostensible objective of “securing
    the territory”, but fuelled by an irrepressible anger, and even vengeance, towards anyone whom they
    believed had contributed towards the oppression of the ethnic Albanian people.
    88. Serb inhabitants of predominantly ethnic Albanian communities quickly became targets for revenge.
    Other targets included anybody suspected – even upon the basis of baseless accusations by members of
    rival clans or persons who held long-standing vendettas against them – of having “collaborated with” or
    served Serb officialdom. In a door-to-door campaign of intimidation, KLA foot soldiers were ordered to
    collect names of persons who had worked for the ousted FRY authorities (in however trivial an administrative
    function), or whose relatives or associates had done so. Into this category of putative “collaborators” fell
    large numbers of ethnic Albanians, as well as Roma and other minorities.
    37 The combined influence of Muja and Veseli in this regard endured through the transitional phase of the Kosovo Protection Corps; both
    men were central to the design of the intelligence structures and strategic decision-making mechanisms inside the PDK party. Among
    the external parties they are reported to have engaged are members of the Albanian secret services, American private military and
    security companies, and Israeli intelligence experts.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    18
    89. Against this background, our account of abuses committed by KLA members and affiliates in Albania
    goes well beyond one-off aberrations on the part of rogue or renegade elements within an otherwise
    disciplined fighting force. On the contrary, we find these abuses widespread enough to constitute a pattern.
    90. While certain acts speak to a particular brutality or disregard for the victims on the part of individual
    perpetrators, we find that in their general character these abuses were seemingly co-ordinated and covered
    up according to a premeditated, albeit evolving, overarching strategy on the part of the leadership of the
    Drenica Group.
    91. In general terms, the abuses were symptomatic of the prevalence of organised criminality inside the
    KLA’s dominant internal faction. Holding persons captive in makeshift places of detention, outside the
    knowledge or reach of authority, and contriving ways of silencing anyone who might have found out about
    the true nature of the illicit activities in which the captors are engaged, count as tried and trusted
    methodologies of most mafia structures – and the Drenica Group was no different.
    92. The Drenica Group itself apparently evolved from being part of an armed force, the KLA (ostensibly
    engaged in a war of liberation), into being a conspicuously powerful band of criminal entrepreneurs, the
    Drenica Group (albeit one with designs on a form of “state capture”). In parallel we have detected a
    transformation in the Group’s members’ activities in one particular area of operations: detention facilities and
    the inhuman treatment of captives.
    3.3. Detention facilities and the inhuman treatment of captives
    93. In the course of our inquiry we have identified at least six separate detention facilities on the territory
    of the Republic of Albania, situated across a territory that spans from Cahan at the foot of Mount Pashtrik,
    almost at the northernmost tip of Albania, to the beachfront road in Durres, on the Mediterranean coast in the
    west of Albania.
    94. The KLA did not have outright, permanent control of any part of this territory during the relevant time,
    but nor did any other agency or entity that might have been willing, or able, to enforce the law.
    95. In particular, the lacuna in law enforcement was a reflection on the failure of the Albanian police and
    intelligence services to curb the mafia-like banditry and impunity of certain KLA units that had stationed
    themselves in northern and central Albania around the period of the conflict. The KLA’s senior regional
    commanders were, in their respective areas of control, a law unto themselves.
    96. The locations of the detention facilities about which we received testimony directly from our sources –
    corroborated by elements of proof gathered through the efforts of investigative journalists (some of which
    dates back ten years or more), and more recently through the efforts of EULEX investigators and
    prosecutors – included: Cahan; Kukës; Bicaj (vicinity); Burrel; Rripe (a village southwest of Burrel in Mat
    District); Durres; and, perhaps most important of all, for the purposes of our specific mandate, Fushë-Krujë.
    97. We were able to undertake visits to the sites of two such detention facilities in Albania in the course of
    our inquiry, although we did not enter the facilities themselves. Additionally, in respect of at least four other
    such facilities that we know to have existed, we have heard first-hand testimony from multiple persons whom
    we have confirmed as having visited one or more of the facilities in person, either at the time that they were
    actively being used by the KLA, or on monitoring missions since.
    98. The detention facilities in question were not resorted to independently or as self-standing entities.
    Rather, these detention facilities did exist as elements of a well-established, co-ordinated and joined-up
    network of unlawful activity, of which certain senior KLA commanders maintained control and oversight. The
    common denominator between all of the facilities was that civilians were held captive therein, on Albanian
    territory, in the hands of members and affiliates of the KLA.
    99. The graphic map included in this report depicts the locations at which we know such detention facilities
    existed, along with the transport routes connecting them.
    100. There were, nonetheless, considerable differences in the periods and purposes for which each of
    these detention facilities was used. Indeed, it is evident that each detention facility had its own distinct
    “operational profile”, including with regard to: the manner of the relationships formed or deals made to enable
    detentions and related operations to take place there at different times; the character and composition of the
    groups of captives held there; the means by which the captives arrived there; and the fates awaiting those
    captives during and at the end of their respective periods of detention.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    19
    101. We shall begin by describing some of the general characteristics of KLA detentions in wartime (some
    of which seem to meet the threshold for war crimes), and post-conflict detentions carried out by KLA
    members and affiliates (which appear to constitute an organised criminal enterprise). Thereafter we will
    examine more closely what happened at each of the detention facilities on the territory of Albania.
    3.3.1 KLA detentions in wartime
    3.3.1.1 First subset of captives: the “prisoners of war”
    102. In the period between April and June 1999, KLA detentions on Albanian territory were discernibly
    based on the perceived strategic imperatives of fighting a guerrilla war.
    103. During the time of war and the attendant mass movements of refugees into Albania, the KLA
    reportedly implemented a policy under which all persons suspected of having the merest knowledge about
    the acts of Serb authorities, particularly those who were suspected of having been “collaborators”, should be
    subjected to “interrogation”.
    104. We were told that this policy was supported actively on the territory of Albania by powerful elements
    within the Albanian national intelligence apparatus, including SHIK (now SHISH) and military intelligence,
    some of whose members even participated in asking questions of captives held at KLA detention camps.
    However, the driving force behind the policy was Kadri Veseli (alias Luli), a lynchpin of the Drenica Group.
    105. The detention facilities at which the “interrogations” purportedly took place – particularly those closer
    to the border with Kosovo – doubled as military “bases” or “camps” at which training exercises were
    performed and from which frontline troops were dispatched, or re-supplied with arms and ammunition. They
    included disused or appropriated commercial properties (including one hotel and one factory) in or on the
    outskirts of larger provincial towns, which had essentially been given over to the KLA by sympathetic
    Albanians who supported the patriotic cause.
    106. At times these wartime camps were used simultaneously as detention facilities and other purposes,
    such as: parking vehicles or storing caches of military hardware; stockpiling of logistics or supplies like
    uniforms and rifles; conducting repairs on broken-down vehicles; treating injured comrades; or for holding
    meetings between different KLA commanders.
    107. For the most part, however, the captives were purportedly kept separate from what might have been
    considered as conventional “wartime” activities, and indeed the captives were largely insulated from
    exposure to most KLA fighters or external observers who might have visited the KLA’s bases.
    108. If all of the captives detained in KLA facilities on the territory of Albania were divided into subsets of
    the overall group according to the fates they met, then in our understanding the smallest subset of all
    comprises the “prisoners of war”: those who were held purely for the duration of the Kosovo conflict, many of
    whom escaped or were released from Albania, returned home safely to Kosovo, and are alive today.
    109. We are aware of there being “survivors” in this category, who have gone on to bear witness to the
    crimes of individual KLA commanders, who were held in facilities at one or more of the following three
    detention locations:
    Cahan – KLA camp close to the Kosovo warfront, also used as a “jump station” from which to deploy
    troops;
    Kukes – former metal factory converted into a multi-purpose KLA facility, including at least two
    “cellblocks” to house detainees; and
    Durres – KLA interrogation site at the back of the Hotel Drenica, the KLA’s headquarters and
    recruitment centre.
    110. Based on source testimonies, along with material contained in indictments issued by the Office of the
    Special Prosecutor for the Republic of Kosovo, we estimate that a cumulative total of at least 40 persons,
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    20
    each held in one or more of the three above-named detention locations, were detained by the KLA38 and
    have survived to the present day.
    111. This subset comprised mostly ethnic Albanian civilians – as well as some KLA recruits – suspected of
    being “collaborators” or traitors, either on the premise that they had spied for the Serbs, or because they
    were thought to have belonged to, or supported, the KLA’s political and military rivals, especially the LDK
    and the emergent Armed Forces of the Republic of Kosovo (FARK)39.
    112. Persons in this subset were targeted primarily for interrogation, and several have described being
    asked questions while being treated roughly by KLA and Albanian intelligence officers. However, during
    further periods of detention that went on to last from a few days to more than a month, most of these
    captives were ultimately beaten and mistreated gratuitously by their captors, in what appeared to be
    measures of punishment, intimidation and terror.
    113. The KLA commanders accused of having been in charge of these detention locations included Sabit
    Geqi, Riza Alija (alias “Commander Hoxhaj”), and Xhemshit Krasniqi. All three men featured prominently in
    previous UNMIK investigations into war crimes in northern Albania; all three have now been named in SPRK
    indictments, and should soon stand trial in the Kosovo District Court40; and their properties have been
    extensively searched.
    114. The evidence gathered in the course of these processes seem to indicate that these KLA operatives –
    along with their Regional Commander for Northern Albania, the now deceased Xheladin Gashi – were
    aligned with the “Drenica Group”, under the direction of Hashim Thaqi, and were acting in concert with,
    among others, Kadri Veseli.
    3.3.1.1.1. Case study on the nature of the facilities: Cahan
    115. The camp in Cahan was the furthest north of all the facilities in Albania used by the KLA, and was
    accordingly most closely tied to activities at the warfront41. We have found no indication that captives were
    taken out of Cahan to other detention facilities in Albania, although we cannot rule it out.
    116. It seems that the deeper into Albanian territory a facility’s physical location, the less directly it related
    to the KLA’s war effort and the more entrenched its connection proved to be with the underworld of
    organised crime.
    117. We found it telling that persons who described having been held captive and mistreated at Cahan had
    largely been apprehended in an arbitrary and relatively spontaneous fashion, often in the course of KLA
    patrols in the vicinity of the camp itself, or at checkpoints on the border crossing between Kosovo and
    Albania.
    118. The persons in this first subset were apparently mostly released when warfront hostilities ceased and
    the Serb security forces had withdrawn from their positions inside Kosovo, in June 1999. The survival of
    these captives in significant numbers is demonstrated not least by the listing of more than a dozen named
    persons with the status of “injured parties / witnesses” in criminal proceedings against the commanders of
    the Cahan and Kukes sites.
    3.3.1.1.2 Case study on the nature of the facilities: Kukës
    38 The estimated 40 persons does not include persons who were held at Durres on a basis so fleeting that their detention lasted only as
    long as it took KLA intelligence officers to conduct an interrogation.
    39 The military grouping styled as Forcat e Armatosura të Republikës së Kosovës, or FARK (“Armed Forces of the Republic of Kosovo”),
    was nominally fighting for the same cause of liberation as the KLA, but was treated by KLA commanders as an adversary, with
    contempt and suspicion. FARK was politically aligned with the LDK, and envisaged as the defence arm of the Government-in-exile of
    Bujar Bukoshi. Unlike the KLA, FARK was built around a core of experienced military officers, ethnic Albanians who had served in the
    Army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. KLA commanders were highly suspicious of FARK and sought to suppress its recruitment
    of new fighters and supplies of arms and ammunitions. The KLA detained numerous persons, especially civilians in northern Albania
    close to the Kosovo border, on the accusation that they supported FARK and were therefore disloyal to the KLA cause.
    40 Geqi and Alija were arrested, in May 2010 and June 2010 respectively, and have been indicted for war crimes against the civilian
    population. While there is also substantial evidence against the third suspect in this regard, Krasniqi, he remains a fugitive at the time of
    writing and therefore cannot be subject to charges under Kosovo criminal procedure. Pending Krasniqi’s apprehension, and the efficient
    administration of justice, the trial of all three men should take place either in the District Court of Pristina or the District Court of Mitrovica
    in early 2011.
    41 Our KLA sources told us that Cahan was in fact an operational staging point for KLA advances over the mountainous border into
    Kosovo. KLA fighters stationed at Cahan are renowned for having launched “Operation Aero”, a rare incursion into Serb-held territory in
    late May 1999.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    21
    119. Among the specific sites at which civilian captives were secretly detained in the custody of the KLA,
    we obtained extensive details about a KLA base at a disused factory building on the outskirts of the northern
    Albanian town of Kukes.
    120. Two first-hand witnesses explained to us how prisoners had been brought to the Kukes site, where
    they were thrown into makeshift cellblocks, left in insanitary conditions without food and water, and were
    visited periodically by KLA soldiers to be questioned under harsh treatment, or indiscriminately beaten.
    121. The extent of the ill-treatment suffered by prisoners at this facility has been meticulously documented,
    inter alia, by Kosovar and international personnel working in the Office of the Special Prosecutor of Kosovo.
    In statements given to prosecutors in 2009 and 2010, more than ten individuals – almost all of them ethnic
    Albanians – described having been detained indefinitely, struck brutally with sticks and other objects, and
    subjected to various forms of inhuman treatment at the Kukes site. Several witnesses stated that screams of
    agony from persons held in separate sets of cellblocks could be heard filtering through the corridors.
    122. The Government of Albania has stated that there are no bodies of deceased persons related to the
    Kosovo conflict buried in the territory of Albania, and indeed that there never were. The case of Kukes
    proves that this claim is manifestly untrue.
    123. First, there are bodies that were cast into rivers in Kosovo and have been carried downstream over
    the border into Albania. The exhumation of such bodies and the recovery of their remains by representatives
    of the OMPF in Kosovo would be relatively “uncontroversial” – but even intervention on these cases has
    been strongly resisted by the Albanian authorities.
    124. Second, there are known individual cases in which the bodies of murdered Kosovars have been
    identified as having been interred in Albania. These cases have led – in instances documented by both
    Albanian and international journalists, and made known to us – to prolonged, albeit discreet, negotiations
    between the families of these Kosovars and the authorities administering the cemetery site(s) in Albania.
    Ultimately, and of particular note, in one case explained to us in detail by a first-hand source, bodies have
    been exhumed and repatriated to Kosovo for a proper burial by the families. The Albanian authorities told us
    that they knew of no such cases.
    125. Third, there are allegations of the existence of mass grave sites on the territory of the Republic of
    Albania. The Serbian War Crimes Prosecutors’ Office stated to us that they have in their possession satellite
    photographs of the areas in which these mass graves are located – but up to now, the sites themselves have
    not yet been found, despite a formal request made by the Serbian to the Albanian authorities to carry out
    searches.
    126. We obtained records from the local cemetery in Kukes, which seem to carry a significant confirmation:
    bodies of persons from Kosovo had indeed been buried in Northern Albania. The most important document
    was a five-page “List of deceased immigrants from Kosovo, 28 March 1999 – 17 June 1999”, which was
    prepared by the Supervisor of Public Services in the Municipality of Kukes, northern Albania.
    127. The document has subsequently been admitted as evidence in the District Court of Mitrovica, Kosovo,
    upon submission of the Special Prosecutors’ office of Kosovo. One of the deceased persons on the list –
    Anton Bisaku, featured at No. 138 – was found to have been among the known victims of secret detention
    and inhuman treatment at the KLA facility located in Kukes, Albania.
    128. According to an indictment issued in August 2010, Bisaku and an unspecified number of other civilians
    held in detention in Kukes were “repeatedly beaten and struck with sticks and batons, kicked, verbally
    abused and tortured”. In charging the defendant Sabit Geci with “War Crimes Against Civilian Population”,
    including “the killing of a civilian at Kukes, one Anton Bisaku who was beaten and shot”, the EULEX Special
    Prosecutor stated that Bisaku was “killed as a result of gunfire directed at him during a session of inhuman
    treatment, beating and torture which occurred on or about 4 June 1999”.
    3.3.2 . Post-conflict detentions carried out by KLA members and affiliates
    129. After 12 June 1999, Kosovar Albanians continued to detain persons for a variety of motives, including
    revenge, punishment and profit. The perpetrators – all of whom were, according to our sources, KLA
    members and affiliates – thereafter fashioned their own novel means of apprehending and abusing civilians,
    and transporting them out of Kosovo to new detention facilities in Albania, distinct from those that been
    operated by the KLA in wartime.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    22
    130. In the months directly after the declared end of the Kosovo conflict in June 1999, members and
    affiliates of the KLA purportedly delivered scores of persons they had abducted into secret detention on
    Albanian territory.
    131. It is of grave concern to us, and should be a priority for investigation and resolution on the part of the
    Albanian authorities, that the vast majority of the persons whom we found to have been so treated remain
    unaccounted for to the present day, including numerous ethnic Albanians.
    132. According to our information, there was not just one facility in Albania at which this post-conflict form of
    secret detention took place – there was a whole ad hoc network of such facilities, joined up by frequent
    journeys between them on Albania’s provincial roads, and across the porous, chaotic (especially at the time
    of the mass refugee movements in mid-1999) border between Kosovo and Albania.
    133. We were able to access corroborated, first-hand testimony from former KLA fighters and auxiliaries
    who carried out multiple transports into and between the facilities named in our report, as well as transports
    of captives out of most of them.
    134. On these journeys, KLA recruits and affiliates reportedly drove unmarked private vehicles, including
    trucks and vans, sometimes in convoys, between one facility and the next. They transported KLA personnel
    and logistics, provisions of food, alcohol or cigarettes, and groups of women who would be exploited for sex.
    Most significantly, in the months from July 1999 until as late as August 2000, they also transported captives.
    135. The facilities in which captives were detained in the post-conflict period differed in character from the
    wartime facilities: we have found that they were primarily rustic private residences in rural or suburban areas,
    including traditional Albanian farmhouses and their storage barns.
    136. There was, in addition, at least one custom-built element to the post-conflict network of detention
    facilities, which was unique in appearance and purpose. It constituted a state-of-the-art reception centre for
    the organised crime of organ trafficking. It was styled as a makeshift operating clinic, and it was the site at
    which some of the captives held by KLA members and affiliates had their kidneys removed against their will.
    According to our sources, the ringleaders of this criminal enterprise then shipped the human organs out of
    Albania and sold them to private overseas clinics as part of the international “black market” of organtrafficking
    for transplantation.
    3.3.2.1 Second subset of captives: the “disappeared”
    137. The captives in this subset were victims of enforced disappearance: none has been seen, heard of or
    accounted for, since being abducted from Kosovo, in the weeks and months directly after 12 June 1999.
    138. The orchestrators of this post-conflict criminal enterprise had apparently put in place a process of
    filtering, whereby a smaller number of captives was picked out selectively from each larger group of
    disappeared, and moved on to somewhere else. The evidence suggests that the rationale behind the
    process of filtering captives in this manner was linked to a determination of the suitability of the chosen
    captives for the use that awaited them.
    139. Factors thought to have played into the filtering process, as recounted to us by multiple sources,
    included age, sex, health condition, and indeed the ethnic origin of the captives, ethnic Serbs having been
    targeted primarily.
    140. We heard numerous references to captives not merely having been handed over, but also having
    been “bought” and “sold”. It was as a result of these references that we tried to understand more clearly the
    intersection between the abductions and undeclared detentions in the context the conflict, and the activities
    of organised crime, which was prevalent in many sectors of daily life in the region.
    3.3.2.1.1.1 Case study on the nature of the facilities: Rripe
    141. In the course of our inquiry, we established that at least three sources whose testimonies we obtained
    unquestionably were physically present at the house of the K. family in Rripe near Burrel (the much-cited
    “yellow house”) in the context of KLA criminal enterprises during which they were present.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    23
    142. Each of these sources was able to recount unique and specific details regarding the precise location
    and appearance of the house, the background of its proprietor, the KLA personnel posted there, and the
    character and commandership of the illegal activities that took place in the house in the period from 1999 to
    2000.
    143. Based upon these source testimonies, it can be concluded that the K. house was occupied by, and
    under the control of the KLA who were part of a network that operated throughout most of the northern half
    of Albania.
    144. A small group of KLA commanders reportedly ordered and oversaw multiple deliveries of civilian
    captives to the K. house over a period of up to a year, from July 1999 until mid-2000. Most of these captives
    had been abducted from the provincial areas of southern Kosovo and brought into Albania using the
    methods of transportation described in this report. Unlike those held in Kukes, the captives brought to Rripe
    were predominantly ethnic Serbs.
    145. In addition, sources close to the KLA spoke of a large number of trafficked women and girls being
    brought to the K. house, where they were exploited for sex not only by the KLA personnel, but also by some
    of the menfolk in the Rripe community.
    146. During the period in which the KLA maintained a presence at the house, the silence of the inhabitants
    of Rripe as to the presence of KLA units and their activities was, according to our sources, obtained by
    threats, but also by “pay-offs” including significant sums of money, as well as free access to alcohol, drugs
    and prostitutes.
    147. There are substantial elements of proof that a small number of KLA captives, including some of the
    abducted ethnic Serbs, met their death in Rripe, at or in the vicinity of the K. house. We have learned about
    these deaths not only through the testimonies of former KLA soldiers who said they had participated in
    detaining and transporting the captives while they were alive, but also through the testimonies of persons
    who independently witnessed the burial, disinterment, movement and reburial of the captives’ corpses, both
    while the KLA was occupying the K. house, and in the period after the KLA had vacated the K. house and
    the family inhabitants had returned.
    148. Our findings in relation to the K. house appear to corroborate, to a large extent, the findings made by a
    team of investigative journalists working for the US-based documentary producers “American Radio Works”.
    These findings were summed up in a confidential internal memo submitted to UNMIK in 2003, which in turn
    gave rise to the investigative mission to the K. house referred to before.
    149. Yet, the testimonies we gathered also revealed a dimension to the KLA's operations at the K. house
    that had not previously been reported, either by the ARW team, or in the memoirs of former ICTY Chief
    Prosecutor Carla del Ponte, or in the successive “revelations” in the media.
    150. KLA operatives in fact not only dropped off captives at Rripe, but apparently also picked up captives
    from Rripe, for transportation onwards to different detention facilities. According to the testimonies of drivers
    involved in transporting the captives, some of the persons they picked up at Rripe were the same persons
    they had brought from Kosovo, while others had arrived at Rripe from a different and unknown provenance,
    which the drivers never found out.
    151. The K. house was therefore not the endpoint, or ultimate destination, in this joined-up network of
    detention facilities and captive transports. Its precise role, its importance to the whole operation, was
    perhaps previously misconstrued.
    152. The K. house appears in fact to have had the character of more of a “way station”, at which captives
    were held in transit to their ultimate fate, and according to certain sources, subjected to apparently strange
    forms of “processing” / “filtering”, including the testing of their blood and physical condition.
    3.3.2.1.2 Observations on the conditions of detention and transport
    153. Captives were reportedly held incommunicado under constant armed guard at these detention
    facilities, either in rooms that were part of the main buildings, or in barns, garages, warehouses or other
    adjoining structures designed for storage.
    154. During the transports between these buildings, captives were routinely bundled into vans and trucks,
    restrained by binding their hands behind their backs, and tied to internal fixtures of the vehicle.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    24
    155. The drivers of these vans and trucks – several of whom would become crucial witnesses to the
    patterns of abuse described – saw and heard captives suffering greatly during the transports, notably due to
    the lack of a proper air supply in their compartment of the vehicle, or due to the psychological torment of the
    fate that they supposed awaited them.
    3.3.2.2 Third subset of captives: the “victims of organised crime”
    156. The last and most conspicuous subset of captives in the post-conflict period, not least because its fate
    has been greatly sensationalised and widely misunderstood, comprises the captives we regard as having
    been the “victims of organised crime”. Among this subset are a handful of persons whom we found were
    taken into central Albania to be murdered immediately before having their kidneys removed in a makeshift
    operating clinic.
    157. The captives in this subset undoubtedly endured a most horrifying ordeal in the custody of their KLA
    captors. According to source testimonies, the captives “filtered” into this final subset were initially kept alive,
    fed well and allowed to sleep, and treated with relative restraint by KLA guards and henchmen who would
    otherwise have beaten them up indiscriminately.
    158. The captives were, as we were told, each moved through at least two transitory detention facilities, or
    “way stations”, before being delivered to the operating clinic. These “way stations”, apparently controlled by
    KLA operatives and affiliates aligned to the “Drenica Group”, were situated inter alia in the following
    detention locations:
    Bicaj (vicinity) – an apparently privately-owned house in a small village south of Bicaj, in a rural
    setting not far removed from the main road towards Peshkopi;
    Burrel – on the outskirts of the town of Burrel, a compound containing at least two individual
    structures in which captives were locked up, as well as a house in which operatives congregated and
    rested;
    Rripe – the two-storey, self-standing farmhouse referred to as the K. house, or the “Yellow House”,
    which was subject to a combined UNMIK / ICTY forensic site visit in 2004 after being identified by
    investigative journalists; and
    Fushë-Krujë – another detached, two-storey farmhouse removed from the main roads and enclosed
    within a large compound, which reportedly served as a “safe house” not only for KLA affiliates, but
    for other groups of organised criminals involved in smuggling drugs and trafficking in human beings.
    Case study on the nature of the facilities: Fushë-Krujë
    159. It was in the last of the locations discovered in our investigations, Fushë-Krujë, that the process of
    “filtering” purportedly reached its end-point, and the small, select group of KLA captives who were brought
    this far met their death.
    160. There are strong indications, from source testimonies we have obtained, that in the process of being
    moved through the transitory sites, at least some of these captives became aware of the ultimate fate that
    awaited them. In detention facilities where they were held in earshot of other trafficked persons, and in the
    course of being transported, some of these captives are said to have pleaded with their captors to be spared
    the fate of being “chopped into pieces”42.
    161. At the latest when their blood was drawn by syringe for testing (a step that appears to have been akin
    to “tissue typing”, or determining levels of organ transplantation compatibility), or when they were physically
    examined by men referred to as “doctors”, the captives must have been put on notice that they were being
    treated as some form of medical commodities. Sources described such tests and examinations having been
    undertaken in both Rripe and Fushë-Krujë.
    162. The testimonies on which we based our findings spoke credibly and consistently of a methodology by
    which all of the captives were killed, usually by a gunshot to the head, before being operated on to remove
    42 In the interests of balance, I should point out that some reporting of this fear on the part of the captives has tended to dramatise the
    facts unduly. For example, we have found no basis for the allegation that certain victims had one kidney removed before being “sewn
    up” again, detained for another period, and then finally having the second kidney removed.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    25
    one or more of their organs. We learned that this was principally a trade in “cadaver kidneys”, i.e. the
    kidneys were extracted posthumously; it was not a set of advanced surgical procedures requiring controlled
    clinical conditions and, for example, the extensive use of anaesthetic.
    163. We learned from distinct and independent KLA insider sources about diverse elements and
    perspectives of the organ-trafficking ring in action: on the one hand, from the perspective of drivers,
    bodyguards and other “fixers” who performed logistical and practical tasks aimed at delivering the human
    bodies to the operating clinic; and on the other hand, from the perspective of the “organisers”, the criminal
    ringleaders who, as alleged, entered business deals to provide human organs for transplantation purposes in
    return for handsome financial rewards.
    164. The practical dimension of the trafficking enterprise was relatively simple. Captives brought as far as
    the Fushë-Krujë area (which entailed an arduous drive of several hours onwards from Rripe or Burrel) were
    first held in the “safe house” facility. The proprietor of this property was an ethnic Albanian who allegedly
    shared both clan ties and organised criminal connections with members of the “Drenica Group”.43
    165. As and when the transplant surgeons were confirmed to be in position and ready to operate, the
    captives were brought out of the “safe house” individually, summarily executed by a KLA gunman, and their
    corpses transported swiftly to the operating clinic.
    166. The surgical procedures thereupon performed – cadaver kidney extractions, rather than surgeries on
    live donors – are the most common means through which donor organs and tissues are acquired for
    transplant purposes – except for the criminal method of obtaining the cadavers. Eminent organ
    transplantation experts whom we have consulted during our inquiry described these procedures to us as
    efficient and low-risk.44
    167. Sources stated that the Fushë-Krujë axis was chosen to host these facilities because of its proximity to
    the main airport servicing Tirana. The facilities at the hub of this organ-trafficking ring – the “safe house” and
    the operating clinic – therefore offered accessibility for incoming international visitors and outgoing
    shipments alike.
    4. Medicus clinic
    168. In the course of our inquiry we have uncovered certain items of information that go some way beyond
    our findings as presently reported. This information appears to depict a broader, more complex organised
    criminal conspiracy to source human organs for illicit transplant, involving co-conspirators in at least three
    different foreign countries besides Kosovo, enduring over more than a decade. In particular, we found a
    number of credible, convergent indications that the organ-trafficking component of the post-conflict
    detentions described in our report is closely related to the contemporary case of the Medicus Clinic, not least
    through prominent Kosovar Albanian and international personalities who feature as co-conspirators in both.
    However, out of respect for the ongoing investigations and judicial proceedings being led by EULEX / the
    Office of the Special Prosecutor of Kosovo, we feel obliged at this moment to refrain from publishing our
    findings in this regard. Suffice to say, we encourage all the countries whose nationals appear in the
    indictment regarding Medicus to do their utmost to halt this shameful activity and assist in bringing its
    orchestrators and co-conspirators to justice.
    5. Reflections on the “glass ceiling of accountability” in Kosovo
    169. Our inquiry has found that there exists a “glass ceiling of accountability” with regard to the
    investigations currently being undertaken, and the indictments thus far issued, under the auspices of the
    Special Prosecutors’ Office in Kosovo.
    43 The proprietor’s collusion with networks who trafficked sex workers, illegal immigrants to Europe, and contraband items including
    drugs and weapons eventually led him to be arrested by Albanian law enforcement officials; although there does not appear to have
    been any connection with crimes carried out in the KLA network.
    44 Contrary to the widespread scepticism as to whether the underlying operations involved in organ-trafficking could have been
    performed in Albania in the period 1999-2000, our experts whom we consulted directly not only found it perfectly plausible that this
    methodology had been used, but were aware of analogous, similarly illicit enterprises in which cadaver extractions were found to have
    been performed.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    26
    170. There seem to be two principal impediments to the quest for justice on behalf of the Kosovo people,
    as it is being led by the SPRK. The first problem is that the de facto reach of the investigations is carefully
    managed and restricted by the Kosovo authorities their collaboration with EULEX therefore suffers from a
    profound lack of confidence.45
    171. Second, these men would apparently rather accept justice in the courts for their alleged roles in the
    running of illicit detention camps and the trafficking of human organs, respectively, than implicate their former
    senior KLA commanders, upon whose authority they acted and who are now senior political figures.
    172. The central impediment to achieving true justice for many Kosovars, therefore, seems to be the
    ancestral custom, which still prevails in some parts of society, of entrenched clan loyalty, or its equivalent in
    the sphere of organised crime. Even where the conspirators in question are not themselves members of the
    same clans or extended families, the allegiances they feel towards their criminal “bosses” are as
    unbreakable as any family bonds.
    173. Therefore, Sabit Geqi will resolutely avoid implicating those truly responsible for the torture of civilian
    prisoners at Kukes, who have now become respectable public figures. Equally, Ilir Rrecaj will continue to
    accept the consequences of being a scapegoat for the irregular licensing and funding practices in respect of
    the Medicus clinic in Pristina, rather than point the finger at those who are truly responsible for this organised
    criminal activity in Kosovo’s health sector.
    174. The result is that political leaders can plausibly dismiss the allegations relating to KLA involvement in
    detention, torture and murder in Albania – serious allegations that deserve to be investigated, as we have
    seen, much more seriously than has been the case so far - as little more than a “spectacle” created by
    Serbian political propagandists.
    6. Some concluding remarks
    175. In concluding, we should once again recall that that this report has been drawn up in the wake of the
    revelations that appeared in the memoirs of the former Chief Prosecutor of the ICTY. Shocked by those
    disclosures, the Parliamentary Assembly entrusted us with the task of looking more closely into the
    allegations and the human rights violations said to have been committed in Kosovo in the material period.
    The elements reported in the former Prosecutor's book primarily concerned the alleged trafficking of human
    organs. Our difficult, sensitive investigations enabled us not only to substantiate those elements, but also to
    shed light on further, related allegations and to draw a very sombre, worrying picture of what took place, and
    is to some extent continuing to take place, in Kosovo. Our task was not to conduct an criminal investigation -
    we are not empowered to do so, and above all we lack the necessary resources - let alone to pronounce
    judgments of guilt or innocence.
    176. The information we have gathered nonetheless concerns extremely grave events that took place in the
    very heart of Europe. The Council of Europe and its member states cannot remain indifferent to such a
    situation. We have shown that organised crime is a significant phenomenon in Kosovo. This is nothing new,
    and it is admittedly not exclusive to Kosovo. Organised crime is a dreadful problem in the region and also
    affects Serbia, Montenegro and Albania, to name but a few examples. There are also worrying, surprising
    links and affinities between the different groups involved. Moreover, such criminal groups seem to cooperate
    with each other far more effectively than the responsible national and international judicial
    authorities. We have highlighted and documented the shady, and in some cases open, connections between
    organised crime and politics, including representatives of the authorities; that too is nothing new, at least for
    those who have not sought to close their eyes and ears at all costs. The silence and the failure to react in the
    face of such a scandal is just as serious and unacceptable. We have not engaged in mere rumourmongering,
    but have rather described events on the basis of multiple testimonies, documents and objective
    evidence. What we have uncovered is of course not completely unheard-of. The same or similar findings
    45 One example in the realm of information management is the limited access granted to EULEX police investigators to the criminal
    databases operated by their Kosovo counterparts. The local leadership grudgingly granted EULEX officers access to the Kosovo Police
    Information System (KPIS), but only via a handful of user names and passwords, each one of which had to be attached to the login of a
    known and named EULEX official. The searches conducted by each of these usernames could then be directly surveilled by the KP
    liaisons, who would necessarily know how often, and when, EULEX searches had been performed and also, precisely whom EULEX
    had been checking up on. Even against this background, there are just as many occasions on which simple technology foils a modernday
    police investigator, because KPIS regularly breaks down. The equivalent system for motor vehicle registration, the KVIS, was also
    opened to EULEX investigators after a period of barely co-operative negotiation with the Kosovo Police. However, the version of the
    database made available (unlike the original prototype that had been jointly developed under UNMIK) was exclusively in Albanian
    language. MMA (Monitoring, Mentoring & Advising) does not count for much when the Kosovar partners do exactly what they want –
    the only remedial action the international liaisons can take is to write a report that goes up the chain of responsibility, and probably lands
    on a desk somewhere in Brussels and is treated with minimal urgency and a premium on political correctness.
    AS/Jur (2010) 46
    27
    have long been detailed and condemned in reports by key intelligence and police agencies, albeit without
    having been followed up properly, because the authors' respective political masters have preferred to keep a
    low profile and say nothing, purportedly for reasons of "political expediency". But we must ask what interests
    could possibly justify such an attitude of disdain for all the values that are invariably invoked in public?
    Everyone in Kosovo is aware of what happened and of the current situation, but people do not talk about it,
    except in private; they have for years been waiting for the truth - the whole truth, rather than the official
    version - to be laid bare. Our sole aim today is to serve as spokespersons for those men and women from
    Kosovo, as well as those from Serbia and Albania, who, regardless of their ethnic or religious backgrounds,
    simply aspire to the truth and to an end to scandalous impunity, with no greater wish than to be able to live in
    peace. Truth and accountability are absolute necessities if there is to be genuine reconciliation and lasting
    stability in the region. In the course of our mission we met with persons of great valour – both local and
    international actors – who are fighting to overcome indifference and build a fairer society. They deserve not
    only our expressions of solidarity, but also our full and active support.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    "I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

    The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
    Karl Marx.

    "Well, he would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963, replied Ms Rice Davies when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her.

  6. #56

    Default

    Magda - excellent work.

    The KLA was a NATO and US intelligence-sponsored terror, crime and smuggling operation.

    The state of Kosovo is a NATO and US intelligence-sponsored terror, crime and smuggling operation.

    Kosovo is a wholly owned deep black state in the heart of continental Europe.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "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

  7. #57

    Default

    Exactly who was Madellaine Allbright I wonder?

    Born Jewish but raised Catholic, but then converted to Eposcopalian when she married in 1959 - a church that styles itself as "Protestant yet Catholic".

    Might she be a Dame of SMOM, for example, joining others like Rupert Murdoch and Tony Blair, Ronald Reagan, Frank Carlucci, Allen Dulles, Oliver North, G W H Bush, Rudy Giuliani to name a few who have been named as SMOM members in one website.

    And might they, in turn, have been members of Opus Dei?

    Might she have worn a cilice:

    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  8. #58

    Default

    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    Dirty Work in the Balkans: NATO's KLA Frankenstein


    The U.S. and German-installed leadership of Kosovo finds itself under siege after the Council of Europe voted Tuesday to endorse a report charging senior members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) of controlling a brisk trade in human organs, sex slaves and narcotics.

    Coming on the heels of a retrial later this year of KLA commander and former Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj, by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, an enormous can of worms is about to burst open.

    Last month, Antifascist Calling reported that Hashim Thaçi, the current Prime Minister of the breakaway Serb province, and other members of the self-styled Drenica Group, were accused by Council of Europe investigators of running a virtual mafia state.

    According to Swiss parliamentarian Dick Marty, the Council's Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, Thaçi, Dr. Shaip Muja, and other leading members of the government directed--and profited from--an international criminal enterprise whose tentacles spread across Europe into Israel, Turkey and South Africa.

    For his part, Thaçi has repudiated the allegations and has threatened to sue Marty for libel. Sali Berisha, Albania's current Prime Minister and Thaçi's close ally, dismissed the investigation as a "completely racist and defamatory report," according to The New York Times.

    That's rather rich coming from a politician who held office during the systematic looting of Albania's impoverished people during the "economic liberalization" of the 1990s.

    At the time, Berisha's Democratic Party government urged Albanians to invest in dodgy pyramid funds, massive Ponzi schemes that were little more than fronts for drug money laundering and arms trafficking.

    More than a decade ago, Global Research analyst Michel Chossudovsky documented how the largest fund, "VEFA Holdings had been set up by the Guegue 'families' of Northern Albania with the support of Western banking interests," even though the fund "was under investigation in Italy in 1997 for its ties to the Mafia which allegedly used VEFA to launder large amounts of dirty money."

    By 1997, two-thirds of the Albanian population who believed fairy tales of capitalist prosperity spun by their kleptocratic leaders and the IMF, lost some $1.2 billion to the well-connected fraudsters. When the full extent of the crisis reached critical mass, it sparked an armed revolt that was only suppressed after the UN Security Council deployed some 7,000 NATO troops that occupied the country; more than 2,000 people were killed.

    Today the Berisha regime, like their junior partners in Pristina, face a new legitimacy crisis.

    As the World Socialist Web Site reported, mass protests broke out in Tirana last week, with more than 20,000 demonstrators taking to the streets, after a nationally broadcast report showed a Deputy Prime Minister from Berisha's party "in secretly taped talks, openly negotiating the level of bribes to back the construction of a new hydroelectric power station."

    As is the wont of gangster states everywhere, "police responded with extreme violence against the demonstrators; three people died and dozens were injured."

    While the charges against Thaçi and his confederates are shocking, evidence that these horrific crimes have been known for years, and suppressed, both by the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) and by top American and German officials--the political mandarins pulling Balkan strings--lend weight to suspicions that a protective wall was built around their protégés; facts borne out by subsequent NATO investigations, also suppressed.

    Leaked Military Intelligence Reports

    On Monday, a series of NATO reports were leaked to The Guardian. Military intelligence officials, according to investigative journalist Paul Lewis, identified Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi as one of the "'biggest fish' in organised crime in his country."

    Marked "Secret" by NATO spooks, Lewis disclosed that the 2004 reports also "indicate that the US and other western powers backing Kosovo's government have had extensive knowledge of its criminal connections for several years."

    According to The Guardian, the files, tagged "'USA KFOR' ... provide detailed information about organised criminal networks in Kosovo based on reports by western intelligence agencies and informants," and also "identify another senior ruling politician in Kosovo as having links to the Albanian mafia, stating that he exerts considerable control over Thaçi, a former guerrilla leader."

    As noted above, with the Council of Europe demanding a formal investigation into charges that Thaçi's criminal enterprise presided over a grisly traffic in human organs and exerted "violent control" over the heroin trade, it appears that the American and German-backed narco statelet is in for a very rough ride.

    In the NATO reports, The Guardian revealed that Thaçi "is identified as one of a triumvirate of 'biggest fish' in organised criminal circles."

    "So too," Lewis writes, "is Xhavit Haliti, a former head of logistics for the KLA who is now a close ally of the prime minister and a senior parliamentarian in his ruling PDK party."

    The reports suggest "that behind his role as a prominent politician, Haliti is also a senior organised criminal who carries a Czech 9mm pistol and holds considerable sway over the prime minister."

    Described as "'the power behind Hashim Thaçi', one report states that Haliti has strong ties with the Albanian mafia and Kosovo's secret service, known as KShiK."

    The former KLA logistics specialist, according to The Guardian, suggest that Haliti "'more or less ran' a fund for the Kosovo war in the late 1990s, profiting from the fund personally before the money dried up. 'As a result, Haliti turned to organised crime on a grand scale,' the reports state'."

    Such information was long known in Western intelligence and political circles, especially amongst secret state agencies such as the American CIA, DEA and FBI, Germany's Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND, Britain's MI6 and Italy's military-intelligence service, SISMI, as Marty disclosed last month.

    In 1994 for example, The New York Times reported that the Observatoire Géopolitique des Drogues released a report documenting that "Albanian groups in Macedonia and Kosovo Province in Serbia are trading heroin for large quantities of weapons for use in a brewing conflict in Kosovo."

    According to the Times, "Albanian traffickers were supplied with heroin and weapons by mafia-like groups in Georgia and Armenia. The Albanians then pay for the supplies by reselling the heroin in the West."

    A year later, Jane's Intelligence Review reported that "if left unchecked ... Albanian narco-terrorism could lead to a Colombian syndrome in the southern Balkans, or the emergence of a situation in which the Albanian mafia becomes powerful enough to control one or more states in the region."

    Following NATO's 1999 bombing campaign that completed the sought-after break-up of Yugoslavia, that situation came to pass; Kosovo has since metastasized into a key link in the international narcotics supply chain.

    NATO spooks averred that Haliti is "highly involved in prostitution, weapons and drugs smuggling" and that he serves as Thaçi's chief "political and financial adviser," and, according to the documents, he is arguably "the real boss" in the relationship.

    Like Haradinaj, Haliti "is linked to the alleged intimidation of political opponents in Kosovo and two suspected murders dating back to the late 1990s, when KLA infighting is said to have resulted in numerous killings," Lewis reports.

    In 2008, Haradinaj and Idriz Balaj were acquitted by the U.S.-sponsored ICTY "victors tribunal" of charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Lahi Brahimaj, Haradinaj's uncle, was sentenced to six years' imprisonment for the torture of two people at KLA headquarters.

    A retrial was ordered last summer after evidence emerged that Haradinaj, long-suspected of running a parallel organized crime ring to Thaçi's that also trafficked arms, drugs and sexual slaves across Europe, a fact long-known--and similarly suppressed--by the mafia state's closest allies, Germany and the United States, may have intimidated witnesses who had agreed to testify against his faction of the KLA leadership.

    A former nightclub bouncer who morphed into a "freedom fighter" during the 1990s, Haradinaj has been accused by prosecutors of crimes committed between March and September 1998 in the Dukagjin area of western Kosovo.

    According to The Guardian, "Haradinaj was a commander of the KLA in Dukagjin, Balaj was the commander of the Black Eagles unit within the KLA, and Brahimaj a KLA member stationed in the force's headquarters in the town of Jablanica."

    The appeals court ruled that "in the context of the serious witness intimidation that formed the context of the trial, it was clear that the trial chamber seriously erred in failing to take adequate measures to secure the testimony of certain witnesses."

    The indictment charges that the KLA "persecuted and abducted civilians thought to be collaborating with Serbian forces in the Dukagjin area and that Haradinaj, Balaj, and Brahimaj were responsible for abduction, murder, torture and ethnic cleansing of Serbs, Roma and fellow Albanians through a joint criminal enterprise, including the murder of 39 people whose bodies were retrieved from a lake," The Guardian disclosed.

    But in a case that demonstrates the cosy relations amongst KLA leaders and their Western puppetmasters despite, or possibly because of their links to organized crime, German Foreign Policy revealed that "high ranking UN officials helped intimidate witnesses due to testify in The Hague against Haradinaj."

    This charge was echoed by Special Rapporteur Dick Marty. He told Center for Investigative Reporting journalists Michael Montgomery and Altin Raxhimi, who broke the Kosovo organ trafficking story two years ago, that his investigation "could be hindered by witness safety and other security concerns."

    "If, as a witness, you do not have complete assurance that your statements will be kept confidential, and that as a witness you are truly protected, clearly you won't talk to these institutions," Marty said.

    Such problems are compounded when the leading lights overseeing Kosovo's administration, Germany and the United States, have every reason to scuttle any credible investigation into the crimes of their clients, particularly when a serious probe would reveal their own complicity.

    Eyes Wide Shut

    The Haradinaj cover-up is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

    According to German Foreign Policy, "the structures of organized crime in Kosovo, in which Haradinaj is said to play an important role, extend all the way to Germany. It is being reported that German government authorities prevented investigations of Kosovo Albanians residing in Germany."

    Investigative journalist Boris Kanzleiter told the left-leaning online magazine that the UN administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) and its newest iteration, the European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) "maintains very close ties to Haradinaj."

    The former head of UNMIK, Sören Jessen-Petersen, referred to him as a "close partner and friend." Kanzleiter said that "Jessen-Petersen's successor, the German diplomat, Joachim Ruecker, also has a close relationship to him."

    Kanzleiter told the journal, "accusations were made that high-ranking UNMIK functionaries were directly involved in the intimidation of witnesses."

    These reports should be taken seriously, especially in light of allegations that even before Haradinaj's first trial, a witness against the former Prime Minister was killed in what was then described as "an unsolved auto accident."

    "Back in 2002," German Foreign Policy reported, "three witnesses and two investigating officials were assassinated in the context of the trial against Haradinaj's clan."

    Similar to the modus operandi of Thaçi's enterprise, the newsmagazine reported that the BND had concluded that Haradinaj's "network of [drugs and arms] smugglers were operating 'throughout the Balkans', extending 'into Greece, Italy, Switzerland and all the way to Germany'."

    Not that any of this mattered to Germany or the United States. German Foreign Policy also reported that despite overwhelming evidence of KLA links to the global drugs trade, political circles in Berlin vetoed official investigations into KLA narcotics trafficking.

    In 2005 "the State Offices of Criminal Investigation of Bavaria and Lower Saxony tried to convince the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation to open a centralized investigation concerning the known [Kosovo-Albanian] clans and individuals in Germany" because "many criminal culprits from the entourage of the KLA have settled in Germany."

    The author noted "this demand was refused." Indeed, "even though the Austrian Federal Office of Investigation and the Italian police strongly insisted that their German colleagues finally initiate these investigations, the rejection ... according to a confidential source in the Austrian Federal Office of Criminal Investigation, came straight from the Interior Ministry in Berlin."

    As we have since learned, Haliti and other top KLA officials have also been linked to organized crime in Marty's report. The human rights Rapporteur accused Haliti, like Haradinaj, of having ordered "assassinations, detentions, beatings and interrogations" of those who ran afoul of Thaçi's underworld associates.

    In 2009, German Foreign Policy reported yet another "new scandal" threatened to upset the apple cart. "A former agent of the Kosovo intelligence service explained that a close associate of Kosovo's incumbent Prime Minister, Hashim Thaçi, had commissioned the assassinations of political opponents."

    "The newest mafia scandal involving Pristina's secessionist regime was set in motion by the former secret agent Nazim Bllaca," the magazine disclosed.

    According to the publication, "Bllaca alleges that he had been in the employ of the secret service, SHIK, since the end of the war waged against Yugoslavia in 1999 by NATO and the troops of Kosovo's terrorist UCK [KLA] militia."

    The former secret state agent claimed "he had personally committed 17 crimes in the course of his SHIK activities, including extortion, assassination, assaults, torture and serving as a contract killer."

    Marty told the Center for Investigative Reporting that "Bllaca's experience did not bode well for other insiders who are considering cooperating with the authorities." EULEX officials only placed Bllaca under protective custody a week after he went public with his allegations, in what could only be described as an open-ended invitation for an assassin's bullet.

    Despite such revelations, diplomatic cables unearthed by WikiLeaks show that the U.S. Embassy views their Frankenstein creations in an entirely favorable light.

    A Cablegate file dated 02-17-10, "Kosovo Celebrates Second Anniversary with Successes and Challenges," 10PRISTINA84, informs us that "two years have seen political stability that has allowed the country to create legitimate new institutions," but that the narco state "must use its string of economic reforms and privatizations as a springboard to motivate private-sector growth."

    Such as auctioning-off the Trepca mining complex at fire-sale prices. As The New York Times reported back in 1998, the Trepca mines are "the most valuable piece of real estate in the Balkans, worth at least $5 billion."

    Summing up the reasons for NATO's war, one mine director told Times' reporter Chris Hedges: "The war in Kosovo is about the mines, nothing else. This is Serbia's Kuwait--the heart of Kosovo. We export to France, Switzerland, Greece, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Russia and Belgium.

    "We export to a firm in New York, but I would prefer not to name it. And in addition to all this Kosovo has 17 billion tons of coal reserves. Naturally, the Albanians want all this for themselves."

    Judging by the flood of heroin reaching European and North American "markets," one can only conclude that if fleets of armored Mercedes and BMWs prowling Pristina streets are a growth metric then by all means, America and Germany's "nation building" enterprise has been a real achievement!

    In light of reports of widespread criminality that would make a Wall Street hedge fund manager blush, we're told by the U.S. Embassy that the Thaçi government "must prioritize the rule of law and the fight against corruption."

    Laying it on thick, despite damning intelligence reports by their own secret services, the Embassy avers that "Kosovo's independence has been a success story." Indeed, "the international community and the Kosovars, themselves, can feel good about the positive steps that have occurred over the past two years."

    That is, if one closes one's eyes when stepping over the corpses.
    Posted by Antifascist at 4:26 PM
    "Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

  9. #59

    Default

    :pointlaugh:
    we're told by the U.S. Embassy that the Thaçi government "must prioritize the rule of law and the fight against corruption."
    Laying it on thick, despite damning intelligence reports by their own secret services, the Embassy avers that "Kosovo's independence has been a success story." Indeed, "the international community and the Kosovars, themselves, can feel good about the positive steps that have occurred over the past two years."

    That is, if one closes one's eyes when stepping over the corpses.
    Indeed.
    "I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

    The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
    Karl Marx.

    "Well, he would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963, replied Ms Rice Davies when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her.

  10. #60

    Default Marty requests answers from EULEX

    http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics...5&nav_id=72549

    Politika
    February 5, 2011

    Daily: Marty requests answers from EULEX

    BELGRADE: Council of Europe Rapporteur Dick Marty has requested answers regarding preliminary investigation into organ trafficking from EULEX, daily Politika writes.

    “EULEX has a legal basis for the investigation, it is party based on the old and partly on new laws in Kosovo. A EULEX investigator was in Albania and he was told there that they would cooperate in the investigation,” daily’s source said.

    EULEX Spokeswoman Irina Gudeljević stressed that EULEX had already investigated the alleged crimes outside Kosovo.

    “An indictment has been confirmed for possible abuse of persons who were kept in KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) facilities in northern Albania during conflict from 1998 until 1999 which was investigated and raised by EULEX prosecutors. Sabit Geci and Riza Alija are awaiting trial for alleged crimes committed in KLA facilities in Kukes and Cahan,” she told the daily.

    Ministry for Kosovo State Secretary Oliver Ivanović claims that EULEX cannot conduct the investigation in Albania and says that Geci and Alija are investigated for crimes that were committed in Kosovo.
    "I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

    The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
    Karl Marx.

    "Well, he would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963, replied Ms Rice Davies when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her.

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