PACE: Truth about Kosovo organ trafficking comes to light
President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Anne Brasseur has welcomed a report by special prosecutor John Clint Williamson concerning an investigation into the 1999 Kosovo organ trafficking case, expressing satisfaction that “truth’s onward march continues also in this case.”
Thursday, July 31, 2014
“Although no final conclusions have as yet been presented, SITF (the EU Special Investigative Task Force) has found compelling evidence to file indictments against certain former senior officials of the (paramilitary organization called) Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) with respect to major human rights violations, findings that are largely based on and consistent with Dick Marty’s report presented to the Parliamentary Assembly in 2011”, Anne Brasseur said.In its resolution on the subject, which was adopted the same year, the PACE “emphasized that there cannot be one justice for the ‘winners’ and another for the ‘losers’,” pointing to the resolution's stating that “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 their political role.”Saying that it is reassuring to her “that the SITF is characterized by a high level of professionalism,” she also noted with satisfaction that “the EU is giving the necessary support to combat organized crime uncompromisingly to ensure that justice is done, without any considerations of political expediency.”“I note, with regret the existence, in certain quarters, of a climate of witness intimidation and I call on the authorities of Serbia, Albania and the Kosovo administration to co-operate unreservedly with ongoing investigations”, the PACE president concluded.Williamson told a press conference in Brussels yesterday that the SITF had collected ample evidence of the KLA committing war crimes and crimes against humanity and conducting a systematic ethnic cleansing campaign targeting primarily Kosovo Serbs and Roma, and announced filing an indictment against several KLA officials.
He said, however, that the investigative team had not found enough evidence for a trial over the extraction of body organs from Serb captives during the 1998-99 war, but there were strong indications that at least 10 victims were subjected to the crime.