Albania Prosecutor Reacts to Organ Harvesting Report
By Besar Likmeta
“The Albania prosecutors’ office has no evidence to suggest the existence of an organ transplant center in the [town] of Fushe Kruja, or anywhere else in Albania,” the Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement issued on Monday.
“Nor it has ever received information or a request for criminal investigation by an international investigative body,” it adds.
The statement follows the publication of a Council of Europe draft report, which was written by Swiss MP Dick Marty and was approved by the Council of Europe’s Legal and Political Affairs Committee in Paris on Thursday.
The report links a group of former Kosovo Liberation Army fighters, including Kosovo’s current Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, to organised crime and accuses them of harvesting the organs of Serb prisoners and others.
It also criticises Albania for not cooperating in investigating the alleged abuses mentioned in the report. The document echoes allegations published in a book by former UN chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, over a house in the village of Gurre, in northern Albania, where Serb prisoners were allegedly killed for their organs.
In 2004 the ICTY and the local prosecutor’s office probed the claims in a fact-finding mission at the house where the alleged organ harvesting occurred.
“Following a joint investigation with Hague experts, no evidence was found that the allegations were true, so Albania’s prosecutors office found no basis to start a criminal proceeding,” the statement said.
“The Albanian prosecutor’s office, which enjoys the trust of international investigative bodies, a trust strengthened by its professionalism and the level of cooperation, decries as baseless any insinuation that Albania’s institutions have blocked the investigation of this case,” the statement adds.