"Hague made mistake in Kosovo case"
|26 January 2011 | 10:15 | Source: Blic, NIN, Tanjug|
|BELGRADE -- CoE Rapporteur Dick Marty says the Hague Tribunal made a mistake when it destroyed evidence connected to the Kosovo organ trafficking.|
Marty, whose report provided the basis for the PACE resolution adopted on Tuesday, said he was not accusing the UN war crimes court of conspiracy, but that it was wrong to destroy the evidence collected during the 2004 investigation.
Speaking about the Kosovo human organ trafficking case, the Swiss senator stated that action should have been taken a long time ago.
"That certainly is not normal procedure in any tribunal in the world. When you collect evidence and believe you do not have the necessary evidence, or do not have the necessary jurisdiction to continue with your investigation, you never destroy the evidence, especially when there is no statute of limitation. Evidence is preserved, there can be new evidence at a later date that gives a new meaning to the old," Belgrade daily Blic has quoted Marty as saying.
"Our work is not the work of an investigative judge or state prosecutor; my work is political activity of an institution that protects human rights. Therefore, our work is not an indictment but more a collection of findings, while, based on these findings, appropriate organs must start an investigation," he further explained, in a statement quoted by the weekly NIN.
"If you ask me, personally, as a former investigative judge and prosecutor, based on the evidence and testimonies we have gathered, there certainly should be an investigation, and one should have happened a long time ago," continued Marty.
He added that witnesses had risked their lives, still had no guarantees that they will be protected, and that this was the reason why he chose not to name many of his sources.
"Firstly, I wish to remind you that there is a series of reports prepared by intelligence services, from various countries, the U.S. FBI, the British MI6, the Italian SISMI, the German BND, and others. These are crime studies. If we did manage to get more specific, that's thanks to our witnesses. And they risked their lives."
"There is currently no witness protection legislation in Kosovo, and during the Haradinaj brothers trial, none of the 40 witnesses that spoke to investigators testified in court, while several were murdered. Therefore, these witnesses will speak once they have absolute guarantee that they will be protected, not only during, but also after the trial," concluded Marty.
The CoE official's report was made public in late December, naming ethnic Albanian KLA and its leadership as perpetrators of atrocities, including kidnappings of Serb and other civilians and harvesting of their vital organs for sale in the black market.