Albania mass grave site photos surface

BELGRADE — The Serbian War Crimes Prosecution has come into possession of photographs of the locations believed to be mass graves in northern Albania.

B92 has seen the photographs, taken by UN investigators in 2004, with places marked as possible mass graves containing the remains of Serb and other non-Albanian victims, who were first kidnapped in Kosovo, and then taken to Albania where their vital organs were removed and sold in the black market.


The mass grave in question is some 1.5 kilometers away from the so-called yellow house near the town of Burrel where the criminal activity was taking place.

The photographs are a part of a report on the case compiled by UN investigators. However, despite numerous appeals, this organization is yet to officially send the document to the War Crimes Prosecution.

It was revealed today that the prosecution managed to obtain the missing pages of the report through unofficial channels.

The mass grave marked in one picture is located in a field close to a cement plant near Burrel. The UN document, first reported about by B92, states that surgical instruments and various medication, including muscle relaxants, were found in the yellow house.

But the report, in its available format, is missing the photographs that now confirm these claims.

The prosecution has learned that the yellow house served “to prepare patients for surgery”, while the extraction of organs from the victims was conducted in a psychiatric hospital in Burrel, registered as Prison 320, where the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, took the persons it kidnapped in Kosovo.

Suspicion that human organ trafficking was taking place here is additionally strengthened with information that 75 persons captured in Kosovo and 75 kidney patients were taken to the same place in Albania at the same time.

“The number of people kidnapped in Kosovo is equal to the number of patients brought there. It seems to us that those patients could have been organ recipients while the kidnapped could have been donors. When you have a donor whose life is unimportant to you, the surgery takes 20 minutes,” prosecution spokesman Bruno Vekarić explained.

The prosecution also says that the best course of action would be to cooperate with their counterparts in Albania on this case, and in line with a cooperation agreement signed in 2005.

However, should the prosecution in Tirana stick to its position that it will not cooperate, it seems likely that CoE-appointed envoy Dick Marty, expected in Serbia and Albania as soon as in January, will investigate the case.

In the meantime, the location marked as the mass grave is “monitored around the clock” to make sure there is no exhumation done there, reports say.

Source: B92


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