EULEX Appoints Team for Organ Trafficking Probe

Posted on August 26, 2011

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EULEX Appoints Team for Organ Trafficking Probe

EU rule of law mission in Kosovo, EULEX, has formed a special team for investigating allegations of human organ trafficking in Kosovo.

Bojana Barlovac

Nicholas Hawton, a EULEX spokesman, said on Tuesday that members of a special team in charge of probing human organ trade allegations in Kosovo had been appointed.

“The recruitment has been completed and we expect the special team to start working soon on the basis of the preliminary investigation launched by EULEX,” Hawton said in a written statement.

Allegations of a human organ harvesting ring broke in December when Dick Marty, the human rights rapporteur at the Council of Europe, released a report linking former Kosovo Liberation Army fighters, including Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, to organized crime and accusing them of harvesting the organs of Serb prisoners and others in Albania.

The report alleged that organ extraction was carried out in a house close to the town of Fushe Kruja, 25 kilometres from Tirana, Albania’s capital city.

Both Kosovo and Albanian authorities have denied the allegations, but have agreed to participate in an international investigation into the claims.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the constitution of a special EULEX team for investigating the allegations into human organ trafficking in a report prepared for the UN Security Council meeting which is scheduled to be held on August 29.

According to the report, the team will be based in Brussels and Pristina.

“EULEX continues to maintain contact with relevant stakeholders and actors in the region as the investigatory process moves forward,” the report said.

According to Hawton, EULEX is taking all necessary steps in order to enable the team to start investigating soon.

Hawton also underscored that EULEX had received assurances regarding the support to the investigation by relevant bodies in Tirana and Belgrade.

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