News24

EU organ harvesting probe 'confidential'

2011-11-21 18:36

Pristina - An EU task force probing a Council of Europe report linking Kosovo Prime Minister Hashin Thaçi to organ trafficking was conducting a confidential investigation on the ground, a report said Monday.

"Investigations of this nature will be subject to a strict level of confidentiality," task force spokesperson Juri Laas was quoted as saying by Kosovo's Daily Express newspaper.

Laas said no details of the probe into the report by the Council of Europe that Thaci had headed a Kosovo guerrilla faction which controlled secret detention centres in Albania as "this might seriously damage the investigation and as such risk the lives of the witnesses."

"This would be a complex international investigation that will require a long time to complete," Laas said.

The EU rule of law mission (Eulex) in June set up a task force to start a preliminary investigation into the report alleging that organ trafficking took place in the aftermath of the 1998-99 war between the Kosovo Liberation Army guerrillas and Serbian forces.

The task force is composed of prosecutors and investigators and led by US prosecutor Clint John Clint Williamson, who is based in Brussels for the probe.

The war ended after a Nato air campaign ousted Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic's forces from the territory, paving the way for the establishment of UN administration over Kosovo.

Eulex was launched in Kosovo only months after it unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in February 2008.

It is mandated to oversee and strengthen the rule of law area and can take over cases deemed too sensitive for the local judiciary.