"EULEX panic" after organ smuggling revelations
|20 December 2010 | 11:10 | Source: B92, BBC|
|LONDON -- London's Times newspaper writes today thatthe Marty document has "created panic" inside the EU mission in Kosovo, the BBC reports.|
The CoE investigator's report named Kosovo Albanian PM Hashim Thaci as responsible for kidnappings of Serb and other civilians in Kosovo in 1999 and 2000, whose organs were extracted to be sold in the black market.
This could lead to the situation where the EU mission will investigate the head of a government that welcomed its presence, said the BBC in its report.
Thus EULEX quickly made it know that it "may not have the jurisdiction" - because while perpetrators did come from Kosovo, the body parts were removed in Albania. They also believe that in the case is "pure organized crime" - then Albanian authorities could investigate it.
But if there are elements of war crimes, the case could end up with EULEX, whose representatives have up until this point been silent on the accusations leveled against Thaci.
Anthony Dworkin of the European Council on Foreign Relations however spoke for the newspaper to say that crimes described in the Marty report could qualify as war crimes, noting that it is necessary for a crime to occur in the context of armed conflict in order to be considered a war crime, and saying that "this was certainly the case in Kosovo in 1999".
Dworkin also said that some accusations in the report concern the treatment of Serb prisoners, and any "mistreatment, let alone killing or harvesting of prisoners' organs, is a war crime".
This expert also noted that the report contains allegations of organized crime activities, which fall under the jurisdiction of national courts.
Since the Hague Tribunal has stopped issuing new indictments, says Dworkin, that would mean that EULEX, "and the authorities in Tirana", are now responsible for starting legal proceedings.
In case those fail to react appropriately, he mentioned a third, but "less likely alternative":
"The concept of universal jurisdiction allows third countries to start investigations and put on trial persons accused of war crimes or crimes against humanity, for which there is no statute of limitation," said he, but noted that in the past couple of years these processes have become scarce thanks to "politically problematic and controversial" cases in Belgium, Spain and Britain.
Dick Marty also said in his report that international officials deployed in Kosovo knew about the crimes of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), including their involvement in human organ trafficking, but kept quiet - "in the interest of stability".
Dworkin does not believe that these international officials will now be criminally prosecuted, since there would have to be proof that they could have prevented the crimes, or that they were accomplices.
The Marty report will not stop the announced negotiations between Belgrade and Priština, said this expert, but noted that "it certainly reflects concerns of a number of European countries that is not small about the nature of the state being born in Kosovo," said the BBC.
"For this reason I believe that soon, in parallel with efforts to find a solution to the final status of Kosovo, we will see more emphasis on solving the problems that exist in Kosovo itself," Dworkin was quoted as saying.