Jose Pablo Baraybar a Peruvian forensic expert and the former head of the UNMIK Forensics and Missing Persons Office visited the infamous “yellow house“ in 2004, where it is suspected that abducted Serbs had their organs harvested.
“There were clues that should have been followed up. Politicians should reply as to why it went no further. A Council of Europe investigation will be the best way to uncover what went on. But the problem could be what you find nine years on,“ Baraybar said in an interview for daily Novosti.
The former head of the UNMIK Forensics and Missing Persons Office said that the UN mission first received information on organ harvesting at the end of 2002 or early 2003 from eight witnesses, some of whom were from Prizren, and the others from Albania.
“Some claimed that they’d already been to the yellow house, others that they’d seen bodies being carried out of there and buried at a local cemetery. Some even said that they’d transported people to Albania. We didn’t speak to anyone that said they’d taken part in what allegedly happened in the yellow house, or had been, let’s say, kidnapped,“ he said.
Baraybar said that the first information had not come from the Hague Tribunal, as former Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte claimed in her book, but that the UN mission had in fact contacted the Tribunal.
The former UNMIK official said that on the basis of “precise information“, his team had found a yellow house, but that no proof had been found there—medicine vials and surgical containers had not been sufficient and were “unconvincing“. However, there had been enough information to continue the inquiry, which was what his team had expected.
According to Baraybar, there were a number of reasons why the investigation was suspended, including the fact that the investigation against Limaj and Haradinaj had got under way soon after.
“As soon as that happened, all the sources that could have taken us from the cemetery and shown us exactly where the bodies were buried vanished! Literally vanished! They began hiding and no longer wanted to speak with us. They ran away!“ he recalled.