söndag 2 januari 2011

Daily: Albanian PM trafficked arms

Daily: Albanian PM trafficked arms

27 December 2010 | 09:47 | Source: Politika
BELGRADE -- Sali Berisha, who is currently Albania's prime minister, was one of the chief arms smugglers during the war in Kosovo.
A file photo of Sali Berisha (FoNet)
A file photo of Sali Berisha (FoNet)
This is according to a report in Belgrade's Politika newspaper this Monday.

The daily writes that four ethnic Albanians from Kosovo mentioned Berisha in this context. Their testimonies are part of the Serbian War Crimes Prosecution's investigation into the human organs smuggling case.

The case, filed as 33-08, cites statements that said the center for arms trafficking was in Berisha's house in the village of Prifc near Tropoja, in northern Albania.

At the time, Berisha was an opposition politician and former Albanian president, during whose time in office military barracks in that country were robbed of weapons and ammunition, with several hundred thousand pieces gone missing.

Most of those arms ended up in the hands of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, writes Politika. The four witnesses are former members of the KLA arrested by Serbia's security forces during the war in the province.

One of them is an ethnic Albanian from the area of the town of Đakovica, formerly a member of the KLA group led by Ramush Haradinaj, who said that it was on Haradinaj's orders that he illegally traveled to Albania in March of 1998 to buy weapons.

Another witness, who came from Dečani, said that a group of ten members was organized to go shopping for arms in Albania after they received training under Haradinaj's supervision.

The next witness is a Kosovo Albanian from Prizren who had spent many years working in Germany, to return to the province in 1998 in order to join the KLA. He said that in February of that year, he collected 5,800 German marks to buy arms.

The last document that mentions Berisha is witness testimony from a Kosovo Albanian from the village of Glođane near Dečani who told investigators that he attended a meeting where Haradinaj told the locals that they must organize to travel to Albania in order to bring in weapons, and that organized attacks on police must start.

The war in Kosovo started a year later, in the spring of 1999, anda recent report said that the KLA kidnapped Serbs and other civilians during that year and 2000, imprisoned them and had their organs removed in northern Albania, to sell the prisoners' body parts in the black market. 

Bank accounts
The prosecution also collected data on bank accounts used to finance and equip the KLA, and believes some of them were also used for money transactions related to the organ sale,

The prosecution's documents have data on a German bank account in the name of Sali Berisha and a man named Andreas Schultz.

That account was used to "collect funds for Kosovo and various other transactions", according to the prosecution.

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