Albania Refuses to Cooperate with Organ Trade Probe

Albanian officials are refusing to cooperate with a probe into alleged organ trafficking during the Kosovo conflict.

Referring to the accusations, Albanian officials told investigator Dick Marty that “there can be no organ trade probe based on the accusations of Carla Del Ponte or Belgrade,” Serbia’s Beta news agency reports.

Marty has just completed a four-day trip to Serbia and Albania to gather evidence on allegations of organ trafficking during the 1999 Kosovo conflict.

Kosovo’s RTV 21 television reports that Albanian Justice Minister Enkeled Alibeaj told Marty that only Albanian prosecutors have the right to carry out investigations on Albanian territory.

According to the station, Marty had a similar conversation with Albanian Interior Minister Bujar Nisani and representatives of Albania’s state prosecution.

Claims of human organ trafficking in Kosovo were first revealed by former Hague tribunal prosecutor Carla Del Ponte in her book The Hunt: I and the war criminals.

Serbia opened an investigation into the alleged atrocities in March 2008. A team from the Serbian prosecution visited Albania last October, but the Albanian authorities refused to cooperate in any way, saying they could not open an investigation on Albania territory and refusing to share documentation.

Upon his return from Albania, Serbia’s War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic accused Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha of ordering a cover-up.

The Kosovo Council for the Protection of Human Rights has asked the Kosovo government to file a lawsuit against Del Ponte over what it claims are the “lies” in her book.

A Human Rights Watch, HRW, representative, Wanda Rosinska, told the BBC that, according to information received by the group, at least 400 people had been transferred from Kosovo to Albania, whereupon their tracks were lost.

She said that HRW has asked the authorities in Pristina and Albania and representatives of some international institutions to shed light on this case.

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