Skip to comments.UN knew about Kosovo organ trafficking, report says
Posted on 02/16/2011 7:57:43 PM PST by DeaconBenjamin
A classified document obtained by FRANCE 24 suggests the United Nations knew about organ trafficking in postwar Kosovo as early as 2003, five years before prosecutors in The Hague first raised the issue.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was expected to deliver a report on the situation in Kosovo to the Security Council in New York on Wednesday, reaffirming UN support for investigations into human organ trafficking during Kosovos postwar period.
But a classified document obtained by FRANCE 24 indicates the UN knew of trafficking well before the issue was first raised by Carla del Ponte, a former prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in her memoirs published in 2008.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE CONFIDENTIAL UN DOCUMENT The report, dating from 2003, is an incomplete compilation of investigations carried out by UNMIK, the UN mission in Kosovo. It describes organ trafficking that took place from 1999 to 2000, immediately after Kosovo's NATO-backed independence war.
The document, also obtained by the Italian news agency TMnews, details how senior commanders of the guerilla Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) obtained and trafficked organs out of Kosovo and Albania.
The alleged victims were mostly Serbian men, but also included young women from other Eastern European countries. They were taken to clandestine detention centres and private homes in Albania where their vital organs were extracted, leading to their death, the report says.
The classified document also describes cases of torture, execution and burial of Serbs as retribution for crimes committed against ethnic Albanians.
The 2003 document has never been presented to the European Unions police and justice mission in Kosovo (EULEX), which is in charge of investigating crimes committed during the war.
The first public allegations of organ trafficking by del Ponte gained little notice. But a report commissioned by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) a prominent European human rights body and authored by Swiss lawmaker Dick Marty in late 2010 gained much more attention.
At the time these crimes were allegedly happening, tens of thousands of troops were deployed in Kosovo by the UN, as well as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and NATO, to ensure the security of civilians.
course they knew like they knew that ethnic Albanians were cleansing serbs before the Serbs went in and even now.
I know becauase I was serving over there in Pristina etc and saw the Serbs under attack from these animals but of course our disgusting media and especially Christian Ammanpour was telliing lies and on the border giving only one side of the story.
Oh wait that’;s a bit like Egypt too.
Biggest lie ever told and just shows how stupid journalists are. All these ‘witnesses’ that were so specific were shown to be liars, by Dick Marty too, but journalists no longer read. The dirty, run house this supposedly happened is 4-5-6 hours by suv from the airport—which was under NATO total.
Thanks for posting, Deacon. The PDF of the original report linked in the article is a real stomach-turner. Prayers for the dead and for their families.
manc: Thank you for your service. I’m glad you’re home safe and sound with your family now.
There are and were no “blue helmet” peacekeepers in Kosovo. All NATO and under NATO (not UN) command. There was also a UN Mission (UNMIK), but it was strictly civilian.
Don’t ruin it for him, let him think that.
-—”The report, dating from 2003, is an incomplete compilation of investigations carried out by UNMIK”
Read the last page of the PDF and see what this is, it’s NOT an investigation, it’s what a journalist “the credibility of whom is untested” heard from some people. And UNMIK and EULEX went to house twice and found zilch, or they would filed charges. Dick Marty who said it happened but I can’t tell you details said that these witnesses were lying, since it supposedly happen in a different town, near Tirana. So many versions of the same lie. You cannot extract organs like that, even if you wanted to, any doctor will tell you.
Journos don’t write code cables. Sorry. This is legit. And the last page says no such thing. This will be my last post to you, as I shall henceforth consider you beneath notice.
No problem. I’m just a stickler for accuracy, that’s all. Yes, all those gruesome stories you linked to and more. I’m hardly denying defending such corruption and abuse. It has and does exist. I hope there are no hard feelings.
No, but they tell others that write code.
Really? Read #3 on the last page and google 'Michael Montgomery Kosovo' and read how all the 'witnesses vanished'
Are you two keeping the ping list now?
End of the road for Kosovo organ claims?
By Nick Thorpe BBC News, Pristina, Belgrade and Tirana
For years rumours have circulated about Serbs abducted and killed for their organs in the months following the Kosovo war.
Three parallel international investigations, by war crimes investigators from Serbia, the European Union, and the Council of Europe, have failed to uncover any evidence that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) trafficked the organs of captives, according to sources close to each investigation.
Dozens of predominantly Serb captives were allegedly taken to a “yellow house” near Burrel in central Albania from June 1999 to May 2000, where their organs were systematically removed and sold, according to accounts presented by Carla del Ponte, former war crimes prosecutor at The Hague Tribunal in her 2008 autobiography.
But the failure to find either the original sources, or any new evidence since 2004, may mean that the story was unfounded.
The Council of Europe report, due to be published next month by investigator Dick Marty, is expected to focus rather on political demands to the governments involved, rather than to uncover new facts.
“The fact is that there is no evidence whatsoever in this case,” said Matti Raatikainen, head of the war crimes unit of Eulex, the European Law and Justice Mission in Kosovo.
Matti Raatikainen, head of the war crimes unit of Eulex Matti Raatikainen says the scandal has distracted from the search for remains
“No bodies. No witnesses. All the reports and media attention to this issue have not been helpful to us. In fact they have not been helpful to anyone.”
The main problem, he said, was that the scandal created by the allegations has distracted attention from the real work of finding the remains of 1,861 people still missing from the war and its aftermath, and prosecuting their killers - in Serbia, Kosovo and Albania.
We talked in his makeshift office in a cluster of containers at the Alpha-Bravo base near Pristina airport, as the latest May storm battered the roof.
Burly policemen came and went, surprised to find their boss talking to a journalist. Mr Raatikainen, a quiet Finnish policeman, is not known for his love of the media.
In 2009, a special BBC investigation found evidence of KLA detention camps in Albania, especially in the north-east Albanian town of Kukes. Earlier this month, Eulex made the first arrest in connection with that case.
Details have also emerged that Albanians suspected of disloyalty to the KLA were interrogated in a hotel in the Albanian coastal town of Durres, and transferred to Kukes.
But constant revelations in the Serbian press that new evidence, or new witnesses have emerged for the organ-trafficking allegations, have all proven either false, or unsubstantiated.
After the war in Kosovo, American journalist Michael Montgomery came across former KLA soldiers who said they had transported Serb and Albanian prisoners, dead and alive, across the border from Kosovo to Albania.
Three of his seven sources referred to the possibility of organ-trafficking, and identified the house near Burrel. But Montgomery was unsure, and handed a summary of his research over to the Office of Missing Persons and Forensics (OMPF) at the UN Mission in Kosovo.
A team of UN and Hague Warcrimes Tribunal (ICTY) investigators, led by Matti Raatikainen, visited the house in February 2004.
A chemical spray, used in a downstairs room, found widespread traces of blood, of uncertain provenance, on the floor. Family members offered contradictory explanations.
Medical equipment appropriate for surgical interventions was found on the rubbish dump.
Some investigators wanted to pursue the case. Others felt the evidence, even then, was too thin.
Most serious of all, Montgomery’s original sources had disappeared. One was dead, killed in a supposedly unrelated case. The others could not be found.
Even the Serbian authorities, who have propagated the tale of the yellow house most consistently, have their doubts today.
“I still believe something happened there,” said a Belgrade source, close to the war crimes court, “but nothing on the scale of what has been suggested... and possibly not even connected to the KLA”.
Considering the apparent lack of evidence, experts suggest the Albanian government could help kill off a damaging story if only it were more open.
Pictures of missing Kosovan Albanians Investigators are still searching for the remains of hundreds of victims
UN special rapporteur Philip Alston said in February that “none of the efforts to investigate have received meaningful co-operation on the side of the government of Albania”.
“In order to get rid of this issue,” he urged Albania, “make available a proposal for an independent investigation and offer genuine co-operation.”
The end of the “fairy-tale” of organ-trafficking, as one Eulex prosecutor calls it, would still leave war crimes investigators with plenty to do.
This month, a mass grave was found near the southern Serbian town of Raska. Three lorry-loads of bodies - around 250 in total - believed to be Albanians killed by Serb forces in Kosovo, were reburied there in early June 1999.
The red soil encasing the bodies, according to eye-witnesses, suggests the bodies were originally buried in the Drenica valley in Kosovo, and moved to Serbia to destroy the evidence.
Prosecutors say they believe the Serbian military were responsible. Excavations at the same site two years ago failed to find the grave, which is now believed to lie beneath a car park and office building.
Missing Serbs are also being found in Kosovo. The exhumation of up to 25 Serb victims of the KLA is due to start later this year in a coalmine in the town of Obilic/Obiliq. The coal was set on fire, and the mine shaft destroyed, to hide the evidence.
But the effort to find other victims is proving difficult.
“A lot of potential informants left,” said Alan Robinson, joint head of the OMPF.
“Other persons, who may know the whereabouts of the missing, may not be willing to talk... out of fear, or lack of interest.”
According to Eulex, 2,244 bodies have been identified in Kosovo since 2001. Of these 301 were “non-Albanian”, meaning Serb, Roma and others.
Some 228 were the bodies of Serbs who went missing after 10 June 1999, the end of the war, at a time of revenge killings by Kosovan Albanians. In total, around 13,500 are now believed to have been killed during the conflict, or immediately after it.
Dick Marty’s investigation for the Council of Europe into the organ-trafficking allegations is due to be published in late June. Exhumations at Raska will begin in August.
I am watching this idiot with careful eyes.
Tough Carla del Ponte did not think it a big lie, and she was the Chief Prosecutor of Slobodan Milosevic. She wrote about the involvement of Hashim Thaci.
Bad Bad people in KLA.
Tell me what she wrote and why didn’t she file charges? She wrote exactly what this report from a journalist said and magically all the 8 ‘credible witnesses’ disappeared before they could be questioned. What she and this report said has already been proved a major lie and laughed at. So there it goes, 8 ‘credible witnesses’ lied through their teeth.
#1 hint was that the house is so far from the airport that any organs would have ‘died’ before getting to the destination. And there’s no road to that house. Or electricity. Or water. Or phone. And it was supposedly done in the summer. And the owners are still living even though they know this big secret. And supposedly prisoners had one kidney removed and then sewn up to wait so the other would be taken later, in a barn. Sorry, but this is a bad SAW movie. Ask a transplant doctor about this and what it takes and see what he /she tells you. Human organs aren’t like watches or sweaters.
Anyone believe the muslim UN wasn’t a part of the setup? Anyone??
At first I thought you meant Hammond B-3 organs..
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