"Kosovo organ probe must take place"
|28 January 2011 | 10:49 | Source: Financial Times|
|LONDON -- The Financial Times writes today that the EU and U.S. are expected to allow the investigation into organ trade in Kosovo after the Marty report was adopted.|
Ever since they recognized Kosovo’s independence in 2008, the U.S. and its European Union allies have been under no illusions about the malign influence of high-level corruption and organized crime "in the former Serbian province", according to an opinion piece published in the London daily.
"A former U.S. ambassador to Priština has observed that unless blatantly corrupt, high-ranking officials are arrested, Kosovo’s people will conclude that “the government is little more than a kleptocracy”, the FT writes.
"Western countries have nevertheless proved singularly reluctant to investigate allegations that trafficking in human organs," writes the daily, and says the crimes took place soon after "Kosovo’s 1998-99 war of independence".
"According to these claims, gangs of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) fighters and their associates abducted Serb prisoners to Albania, murdered them, extracted their kidneys and sold them to private foreign clinics."
"Any official inquiry, it is feared in Washington and Brussels, would play into the hands of Serbia, which was angered by Kosovo’s secession and will seize on all available material to discredit Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian authorities," said the paper.
"There is no longer any excuse for delaying an investigation. On Tuesday the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) – the 47-nation body charged with upholding democracy and human rights in Europe – voted to endorse a report that backs the charges of organ-trafficking and describes the alleged involvement of KLA ringleaders. Authorities in Kosovo and Albania have denounced the report and labeled Marty, its main author, a pro-Serb propagandist. Neither the circumstances nor the contents of his report justify these attacks," says the article.
The article goes on to say that Marty’s "balanced report" unequivocally condemns Serbian war crimes, noting that Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians “suffered horrendous violence” as a result of the “insane ethnic cleansing policy” of the "dictatorial Slobodan Milošević".
"Stability in former Yugoslavia requires the painful truth to be told about all wartime atrocities. The Marty report contains enough disturbing testimony to justify an independent inquiry. The U.S. and EU must not impede it by withholding or filleting sensitive files. Kosovo and Albania must keep their promise of full co-operation. Lastly, Serbia must not exploit the affair to destabilize Kosovo – whose independence remains in the region’s best long-term interests," believes the paper.