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Kosovo PM is head of human organ and arms ring, Council of Europe reports


Two-year inquiry accuses Albanian ‘mafia-like’ crime network of killing Serb prisoners for their kidneys

Paul Lewis in Pristina
Guardian.co.uk,
Tuesday 14 December 2010 15.17 GMT

Kosovo’s prime minister is the head of a “mafia-like” Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe, according to a Council of Europe inquiry report on organised crime.

Hashim Thaçi is identified as the boss of a network that began operating criminal rackets in the runup to the 1998-99 Kosovo war, and has held powerful sway over the country’s government since.

The report of the two-year inquiry, which cites FBI and other intelligence sources, has been obtained by the Guardian. It names Thaçi as having over the last decade exerted “violent control” over the heroin trade. Figures from Thaçi’s inner circle are also accused of taking captives across the border into Albania after the war, where a number of Serbs are said to have been murdered for their kidneys, which were sold on the black market.

Legal proceedings began in a Pristina district court today into a case of alleged organ trafficking discovered by police in 2008. That case – in which organs are said to have been taken from impoverished victims at a clinic known as Medicus – is said by the report to be linked to Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) organ harvesting in 2000. It comes at a crucial period for Kosovo, which on Sunday held its first elections since declaring independence from Serbia in 2008. Thaçi claimed victory in the election and has been seeking to form a coalition with opposition parties.

Dick Marty, the human rights investigator behind the inquiry, will present his report to European diplomats from all 47 member states at a meeting in Paris on Thursday. His report suggests Thaçi’s links with organised crime date back more than a decade, when those loyal to his Drenica group came to dominate the KLA, and seized control of “most of the illicit criminal enterprises” in which Kosovans were involved south of the border, in Albania.

During the Kosovo conflict Slobodan Miloševic’s troops responded to attacks by the KLA by orchestrating a horrific campaign against ethnic Albanians in the territory. As many as 10,000 are estimated to have died at the hands of Serbian troops.

While deploring Serb atrocities, Marty said the international community chose to ignore suspected war crimes by the KLA, “placing a premium instead on achieving some degree of short-term stability”. He concludes that during the Kosovo war and for almost a year after, Thaçi and four other members of the Drenica group named in the report carried out “assassinations, detentions, beatings and interrogations”. This same hardline KLA faction has held considerable power in Kosovo’s government over the last decade, with the support of western powers keen to ensure stability in the fledgling state.

The report paints a picture in which ex-KLA commanders have played a crucial role in the region’s criminal activity. It says: “In confidential reports spanning more than a decade, agencies dedicated to combating drug smuggling in at least five countries have named Hashim Thaçi and other members of his Drenica group as having exerted violent control over the trade in heroin and other narcotics.”

Marty says: “Thaçi and these other Drenica group members are consistently named as ‘key players’ in intelligence reports on Kosovo’s mafia-like structures of organised crime. I have examined these diverse, voluminous reports with consternation and a sense of moral outrage.”

His inquiry was commissioned after the former chief prosecutor for war crimes at the Hague, Carla Del Ponte, said she had been prevented from investigating senior KLA officials. Her most shocking claim, which she said required further investigation, was that the KLA smuggled captive Serbs across the border into Albania, where their organs were harvested.

The report, which states that it is not a criminal investigation and unable to pronounce judgments of guilt or innocence, gives some credence to Del Ponte’s claims.

It finds the KLA did hold mostly Serb captives in a secret network of six detention facilities in northern Albania, and that Thaçi’s Drenica group “bear the greatest responsibility” for prisons and the fate of those held in them.

They include a “handful” of prisoners said to have been transferred to a makeshift prison just north of Tirana, where they were killed for their kidneys.

The report states: “As and when the transplant surgeons were confirmed to be in position and ready to operate, the captives were brought out of the ‘safe house’ individually, summarily executed by a KLA gunman, and their corpses transported swiftly to the operating clinic.”

The same Kosovan and foreign individuals involved in the macabre killings are linked to the Medicus case, the report finds.

Marty is critical of the western powers which have provided a supervisory role in Kosovo’s emergence as a state, for failing to hold senior figures, including Thaçi, to account. His report criticises “faltering political will on the part of the international community to effectively prosecute the former leaders of the KLA”.

It concludes: “The signs of collusion between the criminal class and the highest political and institutional office holders are too numerous and too serious to be ignored.

“It is a fundamental right of Kosovo’s citizens to know the truth, the whole truth, and also an indispensable condition for reconciliation between the communities and the country’s prosperous future.”

If as expected the report is formally adopted by the committee this week, the findings will go before the parliamentary assembly next year.

The Kosovo government tonight dismissed the allegations, claiming they were the produce of “despicable and bizarre actions by people with no moral credibility”.

“Today, the Guardian published an article that referred to a report from a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Dick Marty, which follows up on past reports published over the last 12 years aiming at maligning the war record of the Kosovo Liberation Army and its leaders,” it said in a statement.

“The allegations have been investigated several times by local and international judiciary, and in each case, it was concluded that such statements have were not based on facts and were construed to damage the image of Kosovo and the war of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

“It is clear that someone wants to place obstacles in the way of prime minister, Hashim Thaçi, after the general election, in which the people of Kosovo placed their clear and significant trust in him to deliver the development programme and governance of our country.

“Such despicable and bizarre actions by people with no moral credibility, serve the ends of only those specific circles that do not wish well to Kosovo and its people.”

Kosovo physicians accused of illegal organs removal racket


Medicus clinic linked in Council of Europe report to alleged Kosovo Liberation Army organ harvesting atrocities

Paul Lewis in Pristina
Guardian.co.uk,
Tuesday 14
December 2010 15.17 GMT

The story of how Kosovo hosted an illegal market in human organs began to unfold today in a district court in the capital, Pristina. As armed special forces stood outside, the court heard how desperate Russians, Moldovans, Kazakhs and Turks were lured into the capital “with the false promise of payments” for their kidneys.

EU prosecutor Jonathan Ratel told the court the organs had been illegally removed from victims and transplanted into wealthy recipients in the clinic, known as Medicus. Those who paid up to €90,000 (£76,400) for the black-market kidneys included patients from Canada, Germany, Poland and Israel, Ratel said.

Huddled in the centre of the room, in overcoats, were seven defendants alleged to have played some role in the racket. Among them were some of Kosovo’s most respected physicians, including a former permanent secretary of health who is accused of abusing office to grant Medicus a false licence, and Dr Lutfi Dervishi, a urologist at the university hospital alleged to have set up the operation.

Two of their co-accused are fugitives wanted by Interpol: Moshe Harel, an Israeli said to have matched donors with recipients, and Yusuf Sonmez, perhaps the world’s most renowned organ trafficker.

The story would be shocking enough if it ended there. But what the court did not hear is that the Medicus clinic has been linked in a Council of Europe report to a wider network of Albanian organised criminals. They are said to have had close links to senior officials in Kosovo’s government, including the prime minister, Hashim Thaçi. Their supposed links to the underground organ market allegedly go back more than a decade when, in its most gruesome incarnation, the operation is said to have involved removing kidneys from murder victims. The allegations are contained in an official report into Kosovo’s organ trade produced by the human rights rapporteur Dick Marty and obtained by the Guardian.

The Swiss senator conducted a two-year inquiry into organised crime in Kosovo after the Council of Europe mandated him to investigate claims of organ harvesting bythe Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) after the war with Serbia ended in 1999.

The claims initially surfaced two years ago, when the former chief war crimes prosecutor at The Hague, Carla Del Ponte, said she had been prevented from properly investigating alleged atrocities committed by the KLA. Marty’s report suggests the KLA held Serbs and other captives in secret detention centres in Albania for almost a year after the war ended. A small number of prisoners, the report suggests, were transferred to a makeshift clinic just north of the capital Tirana, where they were shot in the head before their kidneys were removed.

The Albanian connection
The criminal trail is said to begin across the southern border, in the lawless mountains of northern Albania.

Serbia has long complained of atrocities committed by the KLA after July 1999, when Nato-led air strikes forced Slobodan Milosevic’s troops to retreat from the province. Marty finds evidence for those concerns, stating that Kosovo’s guerrilla army formed “a formidable power base in the organised criminal enterprises” in Kosovo and Albania. A group known as Drenica, led by Thaçi, became the KLA’s dominant faction and senior KLA figures from the group hold senior positions in Kosovo’s government today.

In 1999, Thaçi was identified as the most dangerous of the KLA’s “criminal bosses” by intelligence reports, according to Marty. Thaçi’s KLA group is also said to be the main organisation responsible for smuggling prisoners across the porous border. They were held in a network of detention facilities converted from warehouses, farm buildings and a disused factory. The report, , which states that it is not a criminal investigation and is unable to pronounce judgments of guilt or innocence, focuses on a key figure said to have played a central role in the organ operation. A KLA medical commander based in Albania, Shaip Muja remains a close confidante of Thaçi’s, and is currently a political adviser in the office of the prime minister, with responsibility for health. “We have uncovered numerous convergent indications of Muja’s central role [in] international networks, comprising human traffickers, brokers of illicit surgical procedures, and other perpetrators of organised crime,” the report states.

Marty estimates that 40 captives survived being held prisoner in Albania, and are alive today. Others are thought to have been killed, including “scores” who he says were taken across the border after the war ended.

Among the makeshift prisons where captives were held, Marty identifies the famed Yellow House, near the town of Burrel. When the Guardian visited the property two years ago, the owners – the Katuci family – became hostile and denied wrongdoing. While the report concludes the Katuci family home was not the site of organ harvesting, it states that captive Serbs were taken there after the Katucis moved out and the KLA took over the property. The Yellow House and other ad hoc jails function as way stations in which KLA operatives selected candidates for organ removal, Marty says.

After medical checks and blood tests, he says a “handful” were moved to a farmhouse in Fushë-Krujë, a town north of the Albanian capital, Tirana. According to the report, some of these prisoners became aware of the fate that awaited them, and are said to have pleaded not to be “chopped into pieces”. The report adds: “The testimonies on which we based our findings spoke credibly and consistently of a methodology by which all of the captives were killed, usually by a gunshot to the head, before being operated on to remove one or more of their organs.”

The Guardian has established that organs are believed to have been shipped to Istanbul, in a criminal racket operated by Yusuf Sonmez, the same Turkish doctor wanted by Interpol for his alleged involvement in the Medicus clinic.

Pristina airport
An incident at Pristina airport finally led police down a dirt track to Medicus, a nondescript building around six miles away.

When a 23-year-old Turkish man, Yilman Altun, fainted in front of customs officials in November 2008 while he waited for his flight to Istanbul officials lifted his shirt and discovered a fresh scar on his abdomen. The next day, Kosovo police raided Medicus and discovered a 74-year-old Israeli, Bezalel Shafran, who, according to the indictment read out in court today, revealed he had paid €90,000 for a stolen kidney. Both “donor” and recipient identified Sonmez as having been involved in the surgical procedure. That discovery triggered the investigation that led to the start of legal proceedings in Pristina today . After the confirmation hearing, Judge Hugo Pardal will consider whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. Ratel told the court police had uncovered detailed evidence of organ transplants at the clinic, including records of wire transfers for payments and blood tests taken before the procedures. He estimated there were 20-30 victims in the first eight months of 2008 alone, all tricked into believing they would be paid for their organs by middle men in Istanbul.

All defendants in the Medicus case pleaded not guilty.

Regardless of the outcome of the case, it will be the alleged link between Medicus and KLA organ harvesting that will receive most attention when Marty’s report is presented for adoption by an 83-member committee of the Council of Europe in Paris on Thursday . The connection is made explicit in Marty’s findings, which refer to “credible, convergent indications” that the removal of organs from prisoners in Albania a decade ago is “closely related to the contemporary case of the Medicus clinic”. In making the link, Marty refers to prominent “Kosovan Albanian and international figures” who figure as “co-conspirators” in both organ rackets. Their names have been omitted from the report “out of respect” to the Kosovo judicial process.

However, senior Kosovo government sources have told the Guardian those figures are almost certainly Shaip Muja and Yusuf Sonmez. They are the two names mentioned independently by a Washington-based intelligence source who has monitored criminal networks involving KLA figures since 1999. The source described the pair as “the common thread” tying Medicus to KLA activities in 1999 and 2000.

“It is Muja who got into business with Yusuf Sonmez on his trips to Turkey around the time of the Kosovo war, which resulted in kidneys being secreted out of Albania to Istanbul,” the source said. “It’s no coincidence that he also played a role in the creation of Medicus, less than a decade later.”

The source added: “In many respects the two are similar operations. In both cases, you’ve got illegal outfits linking senior players among the Kosovar Albanians trading in the organs of innocent victims, playing into an international racket to profit from the surgeries of Sonmez.”

CoE must be allowed to visit Yellow house


TIRANA, Albania — Investigators from the Council of Europe (CoE) must be allowed to visit a house in Ripa where Serbia claims members of the Kosovo Liberation Army harvested organs from Serb civilians and prisoners of war years ago, says Kastriot Islami. The opposition representative in Albania’s delegation to the Council of Europe (CoE), spoke out on Wednesday (August 12th) after his government said the CoE lacks a mandate to investigate the so-called “yellow house”. Islami, a member of the opposition Socialist Party who served as foreign minister between 2003 and 2005, says Albania, as member of the CoE, should respect Strasbourg’s decision to launch the probe. Earlier this week, a CoE delegation led by Special Rapporteur Dick Marty was turned away from the house by village residents who blocked its entrance for hours. The delegation ended up returning to Tirana. (Gazetatema – 13/08/09; Makfax – 12/08/09)

This content was commissioned for SETimes.com

Albanian villagers block CoE team


11 August 2009 | 14:53 | Source: Beta
TIRANA — Albanian villagers prevented Council of Europe (CoE) officials from conducting an investigation into the trafficking of human organs, Albanian media reported. Former Hague chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte mentioned in her book published last year that the home of the Katuci family and the village of Rripe in north Albania was the possible location where organs were harvested from kidnapped Kosovo Serb civilians in 1999.

“Residents of the village of Rripe blocked the road for two hours on Monday and stopped the Council of Europe investigators from coming into the home without a warrant from the Albanian prosecution,” television station News 24 reported.

AFP reports that “witnesses and television pictures from the village of Rripe in the north-central Mat region showed angry villagers blocking the visitors in a two-hour standoff”.

The agency also said that the CoE team came accompanied by Albanian justice ministry officials.

According to Del Ponte’s book, the Katuci home, known as the “Yellow House,” was used to harvest the organs that would later be sold in the black market abroad.

“They did not show us a warrant, and we did not know who they were, especially because they were not accompanied by an Albanian prosecutor,” the owner of the house, Abdulla Katuci was quoted.

“The Hague Tribunal led an investigation and didn’t find anything in 2002 and 2003, and now they are starting to besiege us,” he also said. According to reports, the Katucis has “for years said that they never harmed anyone”.

AFP reminds that UN investigators searched the Katuci house thoroughly in 2004 for evidence of organ harvesting, discovering blood stains, gauze in the garbage area and, dug out from an area near the river flowing below the meadow, syringes.

“Villagers would not let them dig up graves in the local cemetery to exhume bodies, saying relatives were buried there, and the case was dropped for lack of evidence,” the report says.

In Tirana, Council of Europe officials said that they did not want to comment on media reports about the Rripe standoff.

Dick Marty, CoE rapporteur assigned to the case, was not present at the village on Monday. He spent two days in Tirana after visiting Belgrade and Priština.

Last year, the Albanian Justice Ministry rejected a demand from Serbia to conduct an investigation stating that “the demand was not in accordance with the criteria called for by the CoE conventions,” because it is “based only on claims from Carla Del Ponte’s book”.

Accroding to Beta news agency, Albanian justice authorities said on Monday that country was “open” to all demands for investigation which are in accordance with international conventions, stating that the Serbian demand “was not”.

Last week, it was reported that Albania rejected to cooperate in “foreign investigations”.

Based on photographs, the Serbian War Crimes Prosecution has identified 10 possible executors and one victim – Predrag Dragovi, a native of Peć.

The prosecution believes that in 1999, hundreds of Kosovo Serb civilians were kidnapped in the province by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and taken to northern Albania where their organs were removed before they were killed.

Other than the Yellow House Del Ponte’s book also mentions three other locations in northern Albanian at which organ harvesting was allegedly conducted.

8 Countries Where Human Organs Are Harvested


Source: http://www.news.upickreviews.com

It is a well known fact that humans have an instinctive ability to strive for survival especially if you’re dying from organ failure. Imagine if you could afford $10,000(China) for a kidney instead of waiting in line at the hospital; you’d most likely head to China as soon as possible before you kick the bucket.

This is an issued that China, Brazil, India and many countries live with everyday. The industry has grown and can only keep growing as more and more people fall into the sick and desperate situation where selling or buying organs becomes a need. Theprices of human organs vary from country to country however the most disturbing news is that people are being scammed and murdered for their organs.

#8 Kosovo

Kosovo is known for human trafficking and organ harvesting. In 1999 after the Kosovo war, new evidence claims that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) abducted 400 Kosovo residents, mostly Serbs, and illegally harvested their organs before killed them.


These allegations were sourced from Carla del Ponte, a former chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia. However Carla del Ponte withheld information about this war crime for many years due to the lack of evidence.

#7 Mozambique


photo by: john maier

Mozambique south of Africa, is believed to be one of the main countries where organ trafficking existed. Here the most common organ for sale is the human kidney, mainly used in transplants however there are a few cases involving witchcraft use.

The law in South Africa forbids the sale of organs (‘The Human Tissue Act of 1983’) however it has given special authority to hospital’s medical directors and pathologist. This allows the removal of organs from unknown person(s) or from unclaimed bodies for medical use. This is believed to be the source of most organ trafficking.

South Africa has been famous for murder related organ trafficking however the largestorgan trafficking ring has been caught.

#6 Israel / Palestine

Being called the holy land for the birth place of Jesus, Israel has seen countless carnage, war and poverty. It is also a place where organ trafficking takes place often. Up till a few months ago Israel did not have any proper laws to prevent organ trafficking.

There are strict laws to prevent human trafficking in Israel however the law on organ trafficking is not solid enough and thus the trafficking of organs continues.

The Israeli organ transplanting ring, have been persuading desperate organ sellers from Israel to have their organs removed in Ukraine where the laws are less strict. In some cases these criminals are stealing organs and leaving their donors with nothing, or they are paying very little ($2,000) for a kidney while they sell them to buyers for at least 10-20 times the amount. The organ trafficking ring has been caught thanks to a gun battle by unpaid organ donors who were promised money but ended up in a scam.

It was reported that Dr. Zaki Shapira, a chef of transplantation at the Beilinson Medical Center who’s also the head of a highly profitable organ transplanting ring. Dr. Zaki Shapira was arrested (video).

#5 India

Organ trafficking rings have been running in India for the past 12 years. Among these, was the famous 2004 scandal. It was reported that the Transplant Authorization Committee in charge of preventing organ selling was working with brokers in the sale of kidneys. They believed that they could save lives and it was better to work with the brokers rather than oppose them.


Many brokers, hospitals and doctors have been caught in India the latest being Amit Kumar. However the selling of kidneys is still on the rise in India despite all the scandals and rings exposed. Many still open shops in the illicit hunt for kidneys.

#4 Pakistan

With the abundance of poverty, Pakistan truly has a big problem on their hands. Most people find it hard to make money let alone pay off they’re debts. The only valuable assets these Pakistanis have are their kidneys which have been priced at around $3,000.

In 1994 Pakistan passed “Transplantation of Human Organs Act”. However there are many problems in this act that allow non-relatives to donate organs and receive some kind of compensation for it.

Selling your organs is illegal in Pakistan however some loopholes allow many shady people to perform illicit trades. Watch this documentary from SBS Australia.

#3 Egypt

Egypt has no current laws to prevent organ harvesters. In fact there’s been 500 unlicensed kidney transplant reported each year but evidence indicates that this figure is generous. There is much poverty in Egypt and where there’s poverty there’s organ brokers.

Organ traffickers span as far as Europe in the hopes to find many victims to buy organs from and bring them back to Egypt. What makes Egypt unique to other countries is that the law does not punish organ harvesters. The law is still being discussed and till today we are unsure if organ trafficking will be banned or not.

This article is about an undercover writer trying to expose organ trafficking in Egypt.

#2 China


You won’t find another place like China because unlike other countries, China actually condones organ harvesting. If you’re in dying need for a kidney, fly to a hospital in China where you lay in bed and wait for your kidney to arrive; fresh and ready for surgery. It is unknown how much money is made from the illegal sale of organs as there is little information.

However, there are claims that hospitals head hunt foreigners in need for organs and people are paying anywhere from $10,000 to $65,000 for a kidney.

How it works in China most of the time is really quite ingenious (or in human if you like). China has very strict laws and you can bet your bottom dollar that breaking some laws will get you in front of a firing squad. This is how you end up as an organ donor with proper consent.

In 1984, China introduced a new law, “Rules Concerning the Utilization of Corpses or Organs from the Corpses of Executed Prisoners.” Since the passing of this law many people flock to China and wait for their hand me down organs. In fact doctors are even able to tell you how old your organ donor is before it is even delivered.

In recent events, China has put a stop to hospitals in 2007 by restricting transplants to foreigners and giving first priority to Chinese patients. This does not prevent organ harvesting and in many cases executed prisons organs have been taken without consent.

#1 Moldova

Besides poverty and sex slavery, Moldova is one of the top countries in the world for organ harvesting. The population of Moldova is just over 3 million and the government looks like it couldn’t care less about organ harvesting. It is believed that the government is directly involved with the trade even after the government has issued a ban.

Many innocent victims have been murdered for their kidneys, heart, lungs, liver, and small bowel; by gangs. It is also reported that 10% of all kidney donated worldwide originate from Moldova.

Many years ago, a viral email was sent about people being drugged, then waking up naked in a bath tub full of ice with they’re kidneys removed. This is what’s happening now however many victims are being dumped by the roadside. Some of these activities are believed to be masterminded by a police chef. This report says it all.

Closing
There are other countries such as Russia, Singapore, Philippines, Colombia, Turkey, South Korea, and Taiwan that illegal organ trafficking still exist. And due to poverty and high profits ($50 million / year) on organ brokering, this world issue continues.

B92 team wins award for “yellow house” documentary


TV B92’s Reaction team has won an investigative journalism award, presented by the U.S. embassy and the NUNS, to mark world media day.

The team of Jelena Veljković, Radoslavka Despotović, Jasmina Pašič and Sandra Mandić received the award for their program, “The Secret of the Yellow House“. 

This award for excellence in investigative journalism goes to both experienced and young TV, radio and print media journalists in Serbia. 

23 journalists from written and electronic media, with contributions in the form of reports, interviews, articles and reportages, were in the running for the award. 

U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter said that independent media helped uncover abuses of office, fought corruption, called into question existing norms and ensured a healthy climate,“ adding that without free media there was no democracy. 

“Last year showed that the impact of the world economic crisis reflected on the media too, in terms of reduced advertising revenue and serious problems in paying off debts. Many media companies were compelled to make radical cuts and downsize their program schedule,“ said Munter. 

“Media in Serbia find themselves in the same position as media the world over. In these difficult times, we must bear in mind that success depends on the quality of management personnel and that only the strongest will survive on the market. I’m impressed by the media picture in Serbia, which is lively and very complex,“ the ambassador added. 

The winning program, “The Secret of the Yellow House“, focused on former Hague Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte’s claims of organ harvesting in Albania, during and after the conflict in Kosovo. 

Radoslavka Despotović and Jelena Veljković were the first team of journalists from Serbia to visit the so-called yellow house in northern Albania.

EULEX ready to reveal truth about ‘yellow house’


Source: www.mia.com.mk

Tiran, (MIA) -  Yves De Kermabon, Chief of the EU Mission to Kosovo (EULEX), expressed readiness yesterday in Tirana for revealing the truth related to allegation of former Hague Tribunal Prosecutor Carla del Ponte on trafficking in human organs during the Kosovo war in 1999, MIA’s correspondent reports.

- We are ready to reveal the truth, Kermabon said at joint press conference with Albanian Justice Minister Enkelejd Alibeaj.

Albanian authorities refute the accusations on existence of the so-called ‘yellow house’ in northern part of the country,  were Serbs where allegedly stripped of their organs during the conflict as part of an organ trafficking operation.

Serbian War Crime Prosecution Spokesperson Bruno Vekaric stated yesterday that the investigation was under way relating to the allegations of a surgery room existing in the ‘yellow house’ in northern Albania, where organs were extracted from the kidnapped Kosovo Serbs, and it is yet to be established what was going on there.

- We have evidence of a surgery room being set in that house.  The UNMIK report that the Serbian bodies have obtained says that the UN Mission investigators have found several penicillin bottles there, Vekaric said.

The UN investigators and Serbian Prosecution Office have been suspecting KLA members for the kidnappings of Serbs and trade with their body organs in the black market.

Ponte has written in her book that the Tribunal had got the information about Kosovo Albanians transferring about 100 to 300 people to northern Albania, after NATO arrival to the province in 1999.

UN launched an investigation five years ago and found various medical supplies in the above mentioned house. However all of the eight witnesses Ponte quotes in her book have vanished in the meantime.

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