News / Europe

    EU May Investigate Kosovo PM for Organ Trafficking

    Kosovo PM Hasim Thaci (file photo)
    Kosovo PM Hasim Thaci (file photo)
    Lisa Bryant

    The European Union says it is open to examining allegations in a report by a European lawmaker that Kosovo's prime minister was involved in organ trafficking.  

    At a news conference in Brussels, European Union spokeswoman Maya Kocijancic said the bloc was aware of a recent report accusing Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci of organ trafficking following the1998-1999 war with Serbia.

    "We take all allegations of this kind extremely seriously," said Kocijancic. "In this particular case we have seen the report and if the rapporteur, Mr. Marty, has any concrete evidence we invite him to bring this forward to the relevant authorities."

    Kocijancic, who is spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said those authorities included European Union police and the bloc's rule of law mission in Kosovo, which is known as EULEX.

    Released Tuesday, the report was authored by Dick Marty, a Swiss lawmaker at the Strasbourg, France-based Council of Europe.  It claims mainly Serb prisoners detained more than a decade ago by the ethnic-Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army were shot and their kidneys sold on the black market.  It also claims prime minister Thaci headed a group linked to the alleged organ trade.  

    Rights group Amnesty International has called for the European Union to investigate the claims.

    The Kosovo government has dismissed the claims as untrue and suggested lawmaker Marty wanted to damage Kosovo's reputation.

    Marty was prevously the rapporteur for another sensational report in 2007, claiming the CIA operated secret prisons to interrogate terrorism suspects in Europe.  His Kosovo report will be examined Thursday by the Council of Europe, a rights body that is independent of the European Union.   

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