27 Jan 2011

New inquiry wanted into organ trafficking

4:13 pm on 27 January 2011

The Council of Europe has called for new inquiries into accusations that Kosovo Liberation Army rebels were involved in organ trafficking and other crimes after the conflict with Serbia.

The council has approved a report by a Swiss senator, which says organs were taken from prisoners killed by the KLA after the 1999 war.

The report links a faction of the KLA led by Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci to organised crime. He strongly denies the accusations.

The report says there are "numerous indications" that organs were removed from the bodies of prisoners held by the KLA on Albanian territory in the aftermath of the Kosovo conflict.

The BBC reports the resolution is not binding but will place pressure on Western governments to seek fresh answers about what may have happened in 1999 in the KLA's name.

The report, written by Senator Dick Marty, claims witnesses were silenced and paid off by members of the Drenica Group, a faction within the KLA, whose members engaged in organ trafficking, as well as heroin smuggling and assassinations.

The group's leader is named as Mr Thaci, who was then the KLA's political chief.

Senator Marty said he had never claimed Mr Thaci was directly involved in organ-trafficking, but added that "it (was) hard to believe that he never heard anything being said".