Albania to allow international probe into organ trafficking

May 02, 2012

Albania said Wednesday it had drafted a law aimed at facilitating an EU-led investigation into allegations that Kosovo Albanian rebels sold organs of civilian prisoners during the 1998-99 Kosovo war.

The draft, expected to be adopted by parliament soon, would allow international to conduct the probe on Albanian territory, Prime Minister Sali Berisha said.

"Albania is more interested than anyone in a full investigation of these claims," Berisha said at a cabinet meeting.

Council of Europe rapporteur Dick Marty alleged in a 2010 report that senior commanders of the rebel ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), including current Kosovo prime minister Hashim Thaci, were involved in organised crime and during and after the 1998-1999 war with Serbian forces.

The report said that organs were taken from the bodies of prisoners, many of them Serbs, who were held by the KLA in Albania in the late 1990s.

Both Kosovo and Albania have denied the accusations and rejected the report.

The European Union has set up a task force headed by US prosecutor John Clint Williamson to conduct the investigation.

Albanian authorities say that earlier probes in Albania into the allegations failed to find convincing proof for a legal investigation.

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