Council of Europe report claims Kosovo PM leading human organs, arms ring

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December 14, 2010 18:49

Hashim Thaçi, prime minister of Kosovo. Photo - Vedat Xhymshiti/BPA Media Group

Who: Hashim Thaçi, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo blamed by Dick Marty, the human rights investigator of the Council of Europe.

What: A Council of Europe report has accused the Kosovo premier of being the “boss” of gangs that smuggle weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe. The report suggests Thaçi’s links with organised crime date back more than a decade, when those loyal to his Drenica Group became the dominant faction within the KLA.

Where: The announcement was made at the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg, northeastern France.

When: The report will be presented to European diplomats from all 47 member states of Council of Europe at a meeting in Paris on Thursday, 16 December.

Why: Britain’s Guardian newspaper claimed the report findings are a result of a two-year inquiry, which cites FBI and other intelligence sources. It names Thaçi as exerting “violent control” over the heroin trade during the last ten years. CoE chief investigator Dick Marty also criticised the international community, including the EU, for failing to prosecute those accused of human organs trade. “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,” he noted in his report.

How: 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.” 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. Thaçi and four other members of the Drenica Group are named in the report to have consolidated the trade by carrying out “assassinations, detentions, beatings and interrogations”.

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