Saturday, August 08, 2009
PRAGUE — Europe’s leading human rights group began an investigation on Monday into Serb allegations that Serbian civilians were abducted in Kosovo during the Kosovo war of 1998-99 and taken to Albania, where their organs were extracted for sale before they were killed.
BELGRADE, Serbia — Europe's top human rights watchdog launched a probe Monday into Serb allegations that ethnic Albanian guerrillas kidnapped Serb civilians during Kosovo's war, then removed their organs and sold the body parts on the black market.
The inquiry, by the Council of Europe, based in Strasbourg, France, is being led by Dick Marty, a Swiss senator,
who previously investigated the existence of alleged secret Central Intelligence Agency prisons in Europe used to interrogate terrorist suspects. The Council said Mr. Marty would meet this week with leading war crimes officials and human rights groups in Serbia and Albania.
Leading the probe is Dick Marty, a Swiss senator representing the Council of Europe. He is expected to meet top Serbian judiciary and war crimes officials during his two-day visit to Belgrade starting Monday.
Marty also plans to travel to Albania on Wednesday, the Council of Europe said in a statement.
After his fact-finding visits, Marty will issue a report on "inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo," the statement said.
Distrust between the two groups remains high even a decade after the war, with each side accusing the other of atrocities. Serbian war crimes investigators are now alleging that up to 500 Serbs from Kosovo disappeared during the Kosovo war. Ethnic Albanian guerrillas fought Serb forces under the Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic in a conflict over control of Kosovo in which 10,000 people were killed, most of them ethnic Albanians.
Serbian officials say up to 500 Kosovo Serbs vanished without a trace during the 1998-99 war. They claim at least some of them may have had organs removed
Ethnic Albanian officials in Pristina, Kosovo’s capital, have strenuously denied the allegations, saying they are politically motivated and aimed at undermining Kosovo, which defied Serbia by declaring independence last year. Serbia considers Kosovo its cultural heartland.
Serbian investigators say they have evidence that at least 10 people were abducted by ethnic-Albanian guerrillas as part of an alleged underground trafficking operation in which the guerrillas made use of a network of hidden hospitals in Albania to extract organs, before dumping the bodies of victims into mass graves.
The Serb war crimes investigators say they have concrete proof that at least 10 people have been the victims of an international organ trafficking operation, but that many more may have been operated on in makeshift hospitals in neighboring Albania before being dumped in mass graves.
"Whatever the truth is, we are missing between 300 and 500 people and that is what those seeking justice must have in mind," Bruno Vekaric, spokesman for Serbia's war crimes prosecutors, said.
Ethnic Albanian officials have denied the claims. They said the allegations are part of Serbian propaganda against Kosovo's independence, declared last year with Western backing.
The allegations surfaced publicly last year in a memoir by Carla Del Ponte, the former chief United Nations prosecutor for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. In the book, Ms. Del Ponte claims, based on what she describes as credible witnesses and reports, that after NATO bombed Serbia in 1999, ethnic Albanian guerrillas transported hundreds of Serbian prisoners into Northern Albania, where they were killed and their organs “harvested” and trafficked out of Tirana, the Albanian capital.
The allegations were first made public in a memoir last year by Carla Del Ponte, the former chief U.N. war crimes prosecutor. In "Madame Prosecutor," an account of her tenure as head of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, Del Ponte said her office was tipped to possible organ trafficking.
Kosovo's government spokesman Memli Krasniqi said Monday the country's authorities welcome "any investigation into war crimes committed in Kosovo," but added that the real perpetrators should be sought in Serbia.
"Everyone knows Serbia is the one that committed crimes against humanity and genocide in Kosovo," Krasniqi said. "The allegations of organ trafficking are part of Del Ponte's imagination, inspired by Serbia's criminals."
When the book was published, ethnic Albanian officials and many analysts questioned why Ms. Del Ponte had chosen to reveal the allegations five years after her investigators examined the claims. They also noted that the inquiry had failed to provide enough evidence to form a case.
The ethnic Albanian guerrillas fought Serbian troops loyal to late Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic in a conflict over ownership of Kosovo that claimed at least 10,000 lives. The bloodshed ended after NATO pummeled Serbia with airstrikes and sent in peacekeepers in June 1999. Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders declared independence from Serbia in February 2008.
Now of course both parties are lying, censoring & distorting to protect those guilty of war crimes 7 genocide since they are leaders of the US & all the western European countries. Both parties DIRECTLY & DELIBERATELY LIE SAYING it happened "during the Kosovo war in 1998-9" when in fact it happened after NATO took over. Both parties say this was done by the KLA/Albanian geurillas when in fact by then they had been deliberately signed up as "police" by NATO & so this obscenity was carried out by NATO employees acting under direct NATO command. It being under such direct command makes seniors prima faci guilty & it is up to them to show that they either could not reasonably have known of it or that they took all practical steps tp prevent it. No NATO official has even attempted to make such a defence. Under the occupation agreement NATO undertook to disarm the KLA & run a secure non-racist & clearly rearming the KLA, providing them with police uniforms & sending them out to commit genocide & worse was a deliberate act immediately the a
greement & making all those involved guilty of genocide & worse.
The NYT's "distrust on both sides" is clearly an attempt to muddy the waters as
in "Nazis & Jews still distrust each other with each side accusing the other of atrocities" but I would bet a significant sum the NYT have never said that.
There is also a downplaying of numbers - del Ponte said 300 had apparently been taken to the Yellow House & that 1,300 were "missing" but eventually told the relatives they were certain they were dead.
The NYT mentions del Ponte having said she was informed about his by "credible witnesses"> What she actually said was "reliable journalists" & I suspect the NYT know this. The Red Cross have also confirmed that they knew about this in 2000 but refused to say exactly who they mentioned it too, or indeed what efforts, if any they made to find where the organs went (or to be balanced the Red Cross have refused to say what efforts they made to cover it up). AP's "balancing" claim about the Serbs having killed 10,000 Albanians during the war is, of course, merely one in a very long string of Nazi lies, from 500,000 at the beginning of the war downwards. NATO hired a Spanish forensic team who declared the total in Kosovo to be about 2,000, overwhelmingly killed by NATO bombers & missiles & in the campaign of open genocide by the NATO organised & armed KLA.
Clearly had it been useful at the time AP & the NYT & by extension all western journalists are wholly & completely corrupt animals who would have been willing to say that the Jewish Holocaust was the result of the Jewish world conspiracy & anyway didn't happen in any significant numbers & anyway that nice anti-communist Mr Hitler had absolutely no involvement whatsoever in it. If it became convenient they still would.