Saturday, December 18, 2010

Census, Dule appeals: "We will not know the falls census If Tirana, wants to manipulate"

"Recently, have changed the data for religion and nationality by the Albanian government, for which it was attempting to manipulate the outcome of the population census"

TIRANA-President of HRUP Vangel Dule, has requested the inclusion of minorities in the national population register. During the speech held at the 9th Conference of HRUP for Tirana, Dule said that registration should be complete and all the elements listed as language, religious affiliation etc..

"Therefore also use this opportunity we have today, the state authorities to address today, tomorrow is too late, start functional cooperation with representatives of various minorities, street Open dialogue, transparency. O Our country will do a population census data of ethnicity, language and religion as it has done every European country, or by members of minorities will not be tolerated any rebate "- Dule said.

U.S. to continue cooperation with Thaci

18 December 2010 | 13:39 | Source: Tanjug
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. will continue to cooperate with Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci despite the CoE report linking him to crimes, the U.S. Department of State has announced.

U.S. Department of State Philip Crowley has assessed that accusations of Thaci’s involvement in organ trafficking are “not going to change fundamentally U.S.-Kosovo relations”.

“At this point, since any individual anywhere in the world is innocent until proven otherwise, he is the current prime minister, and we will continue to work with that government,” he stressed.

“I don’t think it’s going to change fundamentally U.S.-Kosovo relations. I mean, they’re based on our mutual interest, not on specific personalities,” Crowley said.

He repeated that the Washington administration was “fully supporting any investigation by a legitimate authority into these charges”.

The Department of State spokesman explained that “some of these issues had been investigated before, but to the extent that this report sheds new light on these issues, they should be followed through”.

According to Crowley, “if there’s new information that is revealed in this report, it should be fully investigated”.

“Many countries knew about Thaci’s crimes”

18 December 2010 | 09:25 | Source: Tanjug
GENEVA -- CoE investigator Dick Marty told Swiss daily Le Temps that the majority of countries had been aware of the criminal activities of Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci.

Dick Marty (Beta)
Dick Marty (Beta)

“Numerous reports of the intelligence services, the German, British, Italian, and Greek ones, as well as reports of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were sent to various foreign ministries,” he explained.

“They, however, gave priority to diplomatic policy, perhaps because they felt that the past should be left behind. The news is that somebody has published the reports,” Marty was quoted as saying.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights adopted Thursday Marty's report and draft resolution on the illicit trade in human organs in Kosovo and Albania.

In his report about the human organ trafficking, Marty identified the current Kosovo PM as the leader of the mafia-style group involved in the criminal activities.

He pointed out that Thaci had for certain period been persona non grata in Switzerland, which showed that Bern had known he was problematic, because a ban prohibiting somebody from entering a country was not issued against people who are absolutely trustworthy..............................MORE see...www,

Kouchner: I knew nothing about organ trade

18 December 2010 | 12:04 | Source: BBC
LONDON -- First UNMIK Chief and Former French FM Bernard Kouchner says he did not know about the illegal human organ trade.

Bernard Kouchner
Bernard Kouchner

“I am skeptical about Dick Marty’s report,” he told BBC.

In its initial reaction to the CoE investigator’s report, the British Foreign Ministry announced that such allegations always needed to be taken seriously.

The British government has called upon Marty to provide all the evidence to the competent authorities in order to conduct a complete investigation.

Great Britain encourages Kosovo government to support and facilitate the investigation, the announcement adds.

None of the participants of the EU summit in Brussels on Friday wanted to comment on the CoE investigator’s report.

Kouchner told BBC that he was skeptical about Marty’s allegations about the human organ trade and that a full international investigation should be launched.

“My first reaction, and I read the report very carefully, is that I’m very skeptical about those accusations of the organ trade. My second reaction is to have somebody investigate this, conduct a real investigation. Those are my two reactions,” he was quoted as saying.....



Organ Trafficking Charge Hits Kosovo


A human-rights investigator for the Council of Europe is calling for an international probe into allegations that former Kosovo guerrilla fighters killed some prisoners in order to sell their internal organs on the black market as chaos engulfed the southern Balkans in 1999.


Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, seen at a Pristina school in 2008.

There is "compelling evidence" that Kosovo Liberation Army members held captives at detention centers in neighboring Albania before singling out "a small, select group" for execution so that their kidneys could be sold, according to a draft report for the council's legislature.

The current Kosovo government, which includes former guerrilla leaders, denied the allegations. Bajram Rexhepi, Kosovo's Interior Minister, said the accusations were "unrealistic and stupid." A spokeswoman for Albania's prime minister declined to comment.

"These allegations should not be left unanswered. They have to be either confirmed or refuted through proper criminal investigation," Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary general of the 47-nation Council of Europe, said Wednesday.

The draft report, which expands on allegations made by former war-crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, of Switzerland, in a book published in 2008, was prepared by Swiss prosecutor-turned-politician Dick Marty, who also investigated for the council the existence of secret prisons in Europe run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

Mr. Marty's findings—which are to be discussed Thursday by the human-rights committee of the council's Parliamentary Assembly—could cause trouble for the leadership in Kosovo, a newly independent country that is preparing for negotiations next year aimed at improving relations with its former political master, Serbia.

Mr. Marty alleges a wider range of misdeeds, including detainee abuse and score-settling among Kosovo's various Albanian factions. He also says alleged victims include ethnic Albanians and ethnic Serbs.

In his report, Mr. Marty alleges that some Kosovo politicians, including prime minister, Hashim Thaci, whose Democratic Party of Kosovo finished first in parliamentary elections Sunday, have links to organized crime. Kosovo's government dismissed that allegation as "slanderous."....more see;

Friday, December 17, 2010


‘Huge’ influx of guns tests police

Police sources have told Kathimerini that “huge amounts of weapons of all kinds” smuggled into Greece from Albania are in the possession of criminal rings and drug barons.The police also believe that some of the heavy weaponry – such as Scorpion submachine guns and Kalashnikov assault rifles – discovered in the suspected hideouts of terrorism suspects may be the spoils of raids on military facilities in Albania in the 1990s.

As for the more modern weapons found at the hideouts, such as Glock semiautomatic pistols, police have not ruled out the possibility that these were procured from the same batch as the two 9-millimeter pistols linked to the Sect of Revolutionaries, the country’s deadliest guerrilla organization.

According to police in Attica, some 10,000 legally registered pistols and revolvers account for just a tenth of such weapons on the market. It is unclear what the corresponding figures are for other weapons.

Albania President Condemns Organ Harvesting Report

Albania’s President Bamir Topi condemned on Friday the Council of Europe report linking top Kosovo politicians to organised crime and organ-trafficking, as baseless and hearsay.

Besar Likmeta

“The president condemns forcefully all accusations not based on concrete proof and allegations spun in a web of hearsay, which seem to have been cooked up in a démodé kitchen of ultra-nationalistic circles, which unfortunately continue to exist in the Balkans – a territory where time after time the mass graves of the genocide of Milosevic’s forces are discovered and war criminals wanted by the Hague tribunal find sanctuary,” Topi said in a statement.

“These phantasmagoric accusations, brought up many times, formerly investigated and never proven, do nothing less than slander Albania, the Albanian nation and its identity,” the statement added.

The draft report, which was compiled by Swiss MP Dick Marty, was approved by the Council of Europe's Legal and Political Affairs Committee in Paris on Thursday. It links a group of former Kosovo Liberation Army fighters, including Kosovo's current Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, to organised crime.

It also criticizes Albania for not cooperating in investigating the alleged abuses mentioned in the report.

Thaci, whose party won the recent elections in Kosovo, called the report "scandalous" and said it is filled with defamation and lies, in a press conference on Thursday.

In his statement Topi said that the dangerous smokescreen created by the report not only undermined Albania’s image but also risked peace and stability in the region.

He suggested that the best way to put an end to the allegations would be through renewed cooperation between national and international investigative bodies, like EULEX, the Hague tribunal and national prosecutor’s offices, which, he said, despite thorough investigations have found no proof to bring anyone before the courts.

“Albania’s institutions have always cooperated with international specialized institutions regarding the investigations made in the project-resolution compiled by Dick Marty, who has made his stance against Kosovo known worldwide,” Topi said.

Blic: Bank accounts could be evidence against Hashim Thaci

17 December 2010 | 10:04 | FOCUS News Agency

Home / Southeast Europe and Balkans

Belgrade. Bank accounts in Switzerland, Albania, Germany and other European countries in which the money from organ trafficking is reported kept could serve as evidence for the Council of Europe report which accuses the Kosovan Prime Minister Hashim Thaci of being “a boss of the Albanian mafia in Kosovo,” Serbian Blic daily writes.

The bank accounts have been discovered by the Serbian war crimes prosecutor’s office, but also by the U.S.’s FBI, which was investigating into the financing of extreme Islamist groups.

Some of the accounts carry personal names and others – the names of humanitarian organizations, which served as a screen for crimes. Some of the organizations are Aid for Kosovo, Mediker, Karavan, Al Haramajin, Taibah International.

The author of the report Dick Marty said he had presented enough evidence for launching an investigation.

Albanians, Bosnians rejoice at visa-free travel

Enver Jaganjac shows his new biometric passport outside a police station in central Bosnian town of Zenica, 75 km (45 miles) from capital Sarajevo, December 15, 2010. The European Union decision to lift visa requirements for travellers from Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, aiming to encourage democratic reforms in the Balkan states, came into effect on Wednesday. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - Tags: POLITICS )

TIRANA/SARAJEVO | Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:19pm EST

TIRANA/SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Albanians raced to claim the honour of making the first visa-free visit to the European Union on Wednesday after the bloc eased entry rules, while Bosnians took a less euphoric approach despite travel discounts.

The EU lifted visa requirements for Albanian and Bosnian holders of biometric passports at midnight on December 15, leaving Kosovans as the only Balkan citizens still needing visas for all trips to EU countries.

Firecrackers greeted the first cars arriving at Albania's land crossings with Greece and to board ferries to Italy.

"I am very happy, very proud. I have driven through snow to be the first," said one 54-year-old Albanian, celebrating a milestone on the country's long journey to EU membership.

He left without giving his name, and discovering that a 74-year-old woman had crossed an hour earlier as she knew what he had forgotten -- that due to the time difference Greek clocks had ticked to midnight an hour before Albania's.

Bosnians could once travel widely without visas when they were citizens of the now-defunct Yugoslavia, but lost the right when the country disintegrated in the 1990s.

Low temperatures and a chronic lack of money were the main reasons for an absence of euphoria among Bosnians, despite 50 percent discounts offered by a travel agency on "Schengen Day", named after the EU's free travel area.

Nevertheless, they were happy to see the visa requirement lifted. "I am glad, now I'll be able to finally visit my cousin in France," said Dzenana, a hairdresser, who has never gone abroad because she loathed waiting for long hours for a visa.

In contrast to Bosnia, where around only 420,000 citizens have obtained biometric passports out of a 3.8 million population, more than one million Albanians have paid 50 euros for such a document.

The EU decided last month to lift the visa requirements for travellers from the two countries, aiming to encourage democratic reforms in the Balkans, but warned that restrictions will be re-imposed if travel rules are abused.

Some EU governments doubt the two membership hopefuls can cope with problems such as illegal immigration and trafficking along drug routes from Asia to Europe, because of weak institutions and corruption.

Such concerns rose after relaxed visa requirements for citizens of Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia last year led to a jump -- in some cases a fourfold increase -- in applications for asylum in the EU from the three Balkan countries.

Many impoverished Bosnians and Albanians see the relaxation as a chance to make money illegally in difficult times.

"As soon as I get a passport, I'll go to Austria, where my cousin lives," said a young man in Sarajevo who did not want to be named. "I'll try to find a job on the black market there, I can earn more in three months there than here for a year."

Albania, an "ally" of the charges against Hashim Thaci

Albanian Parliament Speaker, Jozefina Topalli, "has required medical exam" for Dick Martin

By Mero Baze

Editorial, "Gazeta Tema"

The Council of Europe report on the involvement of particular individuals by Hashim Thaci, in illegal activities during the Kosovo war and doubts about the consolidation of a network of trafficking in human organs is the most serious initiative against the credibility of western political factor in Kosovo, and as such should be taken very seriously. Emotional reactions to Tirana and Pristina until now, not only have excited anyone except myself, but i have fuel to the fire by promoting an unanimous vote for an international investigation on the allegations and made Kosovo's prime minister in office a portrait that resembles horror films.

Not wanting to deal with the emotional response in Kosovo, should be bound to reaction from Tirana. The first scandalous reaction came from Speaker of the Parliament of Albania, Jozefina Topalli, which has required medical exam for the drafter of the report of Dick Martin. With the ease of human clod who sells drool Shkodra stranded villagers to "enemy in Tirana, Edi Rama, with the same ease and irresponsibility, communicates official level for a report, which in fact if not explained by the competence and professionalism by the Government, has left us all life and stain proof against any initiative to promote Kosovo to the West.

Since today are publicly throwing accusations of excessive money to support western Kosovo, and a primitive reaction ours makes the most reliable and these voices. If Dick Marty is psychotic or normal, this trace, could not determine Topalli. Ms Topalli, in this case, is to protect the Albanian part of the charges with evidence and cooperate with the Council of Europe on this issue, and not produce hostile distance with the author of the report, has made it easier to raise the shoulders as innocent, at the height of the offensive against the Albanian factor in Kosova.....
.....More see in Albanian

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Del Ponte Calls for Kosovo Organs Trade Inquiry

The former ICTY prosecutor says the International Criminal Court or a special tribunal should investigate allegations of murder and organ trafficking by Kosovo politicians.

Michael Montgomery

Former United Nations war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte has called for an international criminal inquiry into allegations of murder and human organ trafficking by senior Kosovo politicians.

The allegations were made in a report released earlier this week by European human rights investigator Dick Marty. A parliamentary committee of the Council of Europe has approved the report, sending it to a full assembly meeting in January.

“You cannot read this report and simply look away,” Del Ponte said in an interview from Argentina where she is the Swiss ambassador. “It must be followed up by an international institution capable of conducting a thorough investigation.”

Del Ponte told Balkan Insight and the US based Center for Investigative Reporting that the complexity of the case made it unlikely that any national court could investigate the allegations, which span multiple Balkan countries and implicate Kosovo’s current prime minister, Hashim Thaci.

“What my experience shows me is that it is impossible for any national authority to take this kind of an investigation to its end,” said Del Ponte, who was the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia from 1999 to 2007.

more see:

The Parliament of Tirana, calls, as anti Albanian the report of Dick Marty to the Council of Europe

The Parliament Speaker Topalli: The Report aims anti-Albanian sentiments

Ruci, The Socialist Party in Opposition: The report, attempt to stability in the region

TIRANA-On behalf of the Albanian opposition, the Socialist group parliamentary leader Gramoz Ruci, condemned the charges CE reporter, Dick Marty, to the Prime Minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaci, and the KLA's links to drug trafficking, arms and bodies.

By the Parliament of Albania, Ruci asked to prepare a resolution to condemn the harsh accusations that are made Kosovo and Albanian state.

Meanwhile Ruci called Marty's report as a attempt that made stability in the Balkan region.

"The charges in relation to harm our country, not just charges against Thaci. This report threatens stability in the region, "said Ruci.

Parliament Speaker Topalli: report aims anti-Albanian

Even the head of the Albanian Parliament Topalli, reiterated during today's session in parliament, its position on the report of the Rapporteur Dick Marty, accusing him of abuse of office.

"I repeat, is a report on political, total abuse of the duty of a member of the Assembly of the Council of Europe. There is no evidence, talk to some descriptions. The report is intended anti-Albanian, is against our people, against peace in the region.

Kosovo PM seeks to sue European investigator

Kosovo's prime minister is planning to sue a European investigator whose report suggested he had civilian detainees killed for their kidneys when he was head of the Kosovo Liberation Army, a senior Kosovo official said Thursday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said that Prime Minister Hashim Thaci has contacted attorneys to consult them about pursuing a libel suit against Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty. The official said Thaci is also considering suing the London-based Guardian newspaper, which first published the report.

Marty rocked Kosovo with his allegations made public Tuesday that civilian detainees of the KLA rebels were shot to death to sell their kidneys on the black market and suggesting that Thaci was once the "boss" of a criminal underworld behind the grisly trade.

Marty was expected to speak at a press conference in Paris in the afternoon.

Thaci was the rebel army's political head during the 1998-99 war with Serbia, and his party just won Kosovo's first general elections since it declared its 2008 independence. He has not appeared in public since the report was released, but his office said he was to address the media Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Council of Europe human rights panel for whom Marty conducted the investigation voted to recommend international and national investigations into the report, it said.

The council's legal affair committee accused international organizations of being aware of the crimes, but looking the other way "to promote short-term stability at any price."

The investigation has discovered that "very serious criminal acts are taking place, have taken place and probably are still taking place and therefore the governments all over Europe should think seriously about taking steps about it," said Christos Pourgourides, the committee's chairman.

Agron Bajrami, head of Kosovo's largest daily, Koha Ditore, argued that Marty's report will have consequences for Kosovo's Western backers because "it alleges that everybody somehow conspired to hide these terrible crimes."

"This is not only about Mr. Thaci in Kosovo," Bajrami said. "It is also about the Western world and the 1999 intervention. It seems to try to say that whatever happened after the 1999 war was even more terrible than the war itself and what Serbia did here."

NATO bombed Serbia for 78 days to make it stop its brutal crackdown on separatist ethnic Albanians.

Marty, a Swiss senator, led a team of investigators to Kosovo and Albania in 2009, following allegations of organ trafficking published in a book by former U.N. War Crimes tribunal prosecutor Carla Del Ponte who said she was given information by Western journalists.

Marty's investigation found that there were a number of detention facilities in Albania, where both Kosovan opponents of the KLA and Serbs were allegedly held once the hostilities in Kosovo were over in 1999, including a "state-of-the-art reception center for the organized crime of organ trafficking."

EU investigators looking into claims that organ harvesting took place in northern Albania have said they found no proof of the allegations. The EU police force in Kosovo on Wednesday called for those with evidence to come forward.

Associated Press writer Jamey Keaten contributed to the report

Bosnia and Albania celebrated non-visa travelling to the EU

16 December 2010 | Happy celebrations in Albania and Bosnia marked the lifting of EU visas for their citizens – a situation, new for the youngest generation in the former Yugoslavian republic, and unknown to any Albanian living in his country so far.
Overridden with joy, some were organizing anything from public to private parties, while others just boarded the buses to European capitals.

"The last wall has come down, the wall of the Schengen area," sayd the Albanian president Berisha, quoted by the international press. "No longer forbidden.”

His country and Bosnia were the last, whose citizens were restricted in their travelling to the EU, except Kosovo and Turkey. Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia obtained a liberalized access to the European Union country a year ago.

The EU decision for Albania and Bosnia was taken last month unanimously, but not unconditionally – it came with an explicit warning that it will be reversed, if it leads to an influx of people, searching illegally for work, or unreasonably – for asylum.

Committee adopts Kosovo organ trafficking report

16 December 2010 | 10:00 -> 13:34 | Source: B92, Tanjug
PARIS -- Council of Europe (CoE) Rapporteur Dick Marty today in Paris officially presented his report on human organ trafficking in Kosovo and northern Albania.

Dick Marty (Tanjug, file)
Dick Marty (Tanjug, file)

The draft report, detailing locations where members of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) took kidnapped civilians to have their vital organs removed and later sold, was adopted by the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee.

In it, Kosovo Albanian Premier and former KLA leader Hashim Thaci has been named as the ringleader of a group that was involved in organ, drugs and arms trafficking.

Reports from Paris today said that the decision came despite "some attempts" to postpone it....................

Credible Accusations of Disappearances, Executions, and Organ-Trafficking
December 16, 2010

The international community can no longer ignore credible allegations of serious crimes in Kosovo and Albania. The US and European governments must demand prompt, thorough, and impartial investigations, with prosecutions of those responsible.

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch

(New York) - The United States and European governments should demand thorough and impartial criminal investigations in Kosovo and Albania into allegations of serious crimes by former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) members, Human Rights Watch said today.

The Albanian judiciary should conduct the investigation in Albania, while in Kosovo the European Union mission should take the lead, Human Rights Watch said.

A Council of Europe draft report alleging abductions, disappearances, executions, organ trafficking and other serious crimes coordinated by leading Kosovo politicians will go before the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly's legal affairs and human rights committee on December 16, 2010.

"The international community can no longer ignore credible allegations of serious crimes in Kosovo and Albania," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "The US and European governments must demand prompt, thorough, and impartial investigations, with prosecutions of those responsible."

The Council of Europe report prepared by Swiss Senator Dick Marty alleges an extensive criminal network in post-war Kosovo, in which, it claims, Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci played an important role. Nearly 500 people have gone missing in Kosovo since the 1999 war, the draft report says.....................

In an effort to improve ties with Greece and create new military partnerships in the Mediterranean, Israeli defense industries are in talks with the Hellenic Armed Forces over a possible multi-million dollar sale of advanced weapons systems.

A senior Israeli defense delegation consisting of officials from the Defense Ministry and local industries recently traveled to Greece to discuss the deal, which could include weapons systems for the Hellenic Air Force’s fleet of F-16 fighter jets.

IAF completes joint exercise with Italian Air Force
Israel, Italy conduct joint air force exercise in Sardinia

Officials said that the deal has been in the works for several months, ever since Binyamin Netanyahu made Israeli history and became the first prime minister to visit Greece in August.

One of the obstacles in the way of the deal is Greece’s poor economy, but officials said they were seeking creative ways for Greece to pay for the systems and enable the deal to materialize.

Israeli-Greek ties have been on the ascent since May’s navy raid on a Turkish flotilla trying to break the Israeli-imposed sea blockade on the Gaza Strip. In response to the raid, which ended with nine dead Turkish nationals, Turkey cut off all military and political ties with Israel.

Locked out of Turkey, the Israel Air Force found a new partner in Greece. Over the past year, it has held four exercises in Greece, most recently in October and November; these last ones included the deployment of squadrons of fighter jets and attack helicopters.

Officials said that Israel would continue to cooperate with Greece and was also likely to hold maneuvers in Bulgaria in the beginning of 2011.

Last week, the IAF held joint maneuvers with the Italian Air Force in the Negev, just two weeks after completing a round of joint drills in Sardinia. The maneuvers were held out of the Uvda Air Force Base in the South and included IAF F-16s and Italian Tornados.

The IAF’s “Flying Dragon” Squadron, which impersonates enemy forces, flew against theitalians.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Economist

Kosovo, Organs of state

Dec 15th 2010, PRISTINA

A SUCCESSFUL referendum on Kosovo’s European future was how Hashim Thaci (pictured), the prime minister, described Kosovo’s general election on December 12th, its first since independence in 2008. Mr Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) claims to have won the election, with 33.5% of the vote. But the news since the polls closed has been so bad that this future cannot be taken for granted.

Almost immediately, election observers said there had been widespread electoral fraud. Just two days later, a draft report was released by the Council of Europe implicating Mr Thaci in drug smuggling and murder. The report, compiled by Dick Marty, a Swiss politician and former prosecutor, is explosive. Much of the ground it covers is familiar, but Mr Marty claims to have found corroborating evidence for stories that had previously been dismissed for lack of solid evidence.

The most devastating claim is that Mr Thaci and his group of former guerrilla commanders from the central region of Drenica were responsible for the murder of Serb and other prisoners for their kidneys in Albania in 1999. Since then, says the report, several foreign agencies dedicated to combating drug trafficking have identified Mr Thaci as having exerted violent control over the region’s heroin trade. America and Kosovo’s other foreign friends have tolerated this nastiness, Mr Marty argues, for the sake of stability.

The report will not necessarily impede Mr Thaci’s attempts to form a new coalition. Such slanderous allegations have been investigated before, says Kosovo’s government, and found to be baseless. It has accused Mr Marty of working on behalf of Serbia, a claim many Kosovars will believe. Mr Thaci may even try to turn the affair to his advantage by taking the nationalist high ground, arguing that this is not a good time to be squabbling at home, since Kosovo’s enemies are on the attack. Still, notes one diplomatic source, the claims have sapped the prime minister’s authority, especially with foreigners.

Mr Thaci may find the claims of electoral fraud harder to shrug off. By far the worst cases came in the PDK’s heartland of Drenica, where one observer denounced what he called “industrial-scale” cheating. Petrit Selimi, an aspiring PDK deputy, retorts that although he regretted the fiddling, his party would have won the vote anyway. Not so, say opposition parties. Some 171 appeals have been launched, postponing the formation of a new government. Arber Gashi, a senior figure in the Democratic League of Kosovo, the main opposition, says that a new election should be held. Without it, he argues, a Thaci-led government will have no legitimacy. But a fresh poll is extremely unlikely.

So Mr Thaci may be able to form a coalition government with one or more small Albanian parties and the support of Kosovo’s minorities, including small parties representing the few Serbs who voted. But the allegations of fraud, organ-harvesting and drug-trafficking will hamper any government’s attempts to set Kosovo on the path towards the European Union. They will also make it harder for the EU to begin a dialogue between the authorities in Kosovo and Serbia, which it is keen to do as soon as possible. “It was bad before,” says Arber Gorani of the Kosovar Stability Initiative, a think-tank. “Now it is worse. Kosovo can’t afford this.”

Amnesty Calls for Probe Into Organ Trade Claims

Amnesty International has called on the EU rule of law mission in Kosovo, EULEX, to open an investigation into the alleged involvement of Kosovo’s Premier Hashim Thaci in the post-war abduction of Albanians and Serbs.

The human rights watchdog called for a probe in a press release issued a day after a damning report was released by the Council of Europe which names the Kosovo premier as the boss of a crime gang that sold body parts, carried out assassinations and dealt drugs both during the conflict in Kosovo and after.

Europe's top human rights investigator, Dick Marty, alleges in his report that a criminal network linked to Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci summarily executed prisoners, including Serbs, Roma and Albanians deemed to be collaborating with Serb authorities, and harvested their kidneys to sell for illicit organ transplants.

"Amnesty International endorses Dick Marty’s call for the EU to give EULEX all the resources it needs to carry out a full and impartial investigation into these allegations, and all other post- conflict abductions. This includes the resources to set up an effective witness protection programme," said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.

"The families of the Serbs, Roma and Albanians abducted after the war have waited too long for justice. They deserve to know their relatives’ fate," he adds.

In the 27-page document, which is the result of a two-year investigation, Marty writes that victims were taken to camps in Albania, where some were murdered and their organs removed for trafficking.

The report alleges that the organ trafficking was part of a broader web of organised crime activities including assassinations and drug trafficking.

The Kosovo government has denounced the allegations as a smear campaign against the Kosovo Liberation Army and the Kosovo state.

Amnesty noted that it has called for investigations into the fate of Serbs, Roma and others abducted after the end of the armed conflict, but said that this had not happened.

The human rights watchdog also expressed concern that the draft report remarks that the international community "sacrifice[d] some important principles of justice" and chose not to investigate post-war abductions, political killings and other allegations against Hashim Thaci and the KLA in order to promote "short-term stability".

Albania Lashes Organ-Trafficking Report as Baseless

Tirana has roundly condemned a draft Council of Europe report linking former Kosovo Albanian commanders to organized crime and organ-trafficking.

Altin Raxhimi

Tirana has denounced the report by Swiss senator Dick Marty, which claims Kosovo fighters in the 1990s committed grave human rights abuses on Albanian soil.

"The report... is totally unfounded in terms of facts, evidence or reality, which speaks of clear political bias by the author, constituting a flagrant abuse of the authority of the Council of Europe," Prime Minister Sali Berisha's office said.

Berisha made the statement in a meeting in Tirana with Jean Louis Laurens, the Council of Europe's director general for democracy and political affairs, his office said. Parliament Speaker Jozefina Topalli said the report constituted an unprecedented abuse of office on the part of Marty, a senator in Switzerland. “If he does not prove the facts he has written about and does not present them to the courts, the Council of Europe should demand... a full investigation into the circumstances that made him produce such a report," she said. The draft report, which will be presented to the Council of Europe's Legal and Political Affairs Committee in Paris on Thursday, links a group of former Kosovo Liberation Army fighters, including Kosovo's current Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, to organized crime. It also criticizes Albania for not cooperating in investigating the alleged abuses mentioned in the report. Thaci, the winner of recent elections in Kosovo, called the report a smear campaign in a press release released on Tuesday.

The Greek Minority in Albania – Current Tensions
Miranda Vickers

Himara`s Indipendence: "The town and its six surrounding villages, with a population of 20,000, paid a yearly tribute of 16,000 francs to the Sublime Porte in Constantinople

Key Findings

• The problems of the Greek minority in Albania continue to affect the wider relationship between Albania and Greece.

• Efforts to improve the situation and human rights of the minority have met with delays
and difficulties as both past and present Albanian and Greek governments have been willing to use nationalism as political capital for electoral benefits.

• External manipulation of the minorities’ issues by nationalist-based groups has
hindered efforts to correctly evaluate the minority situation and contributed to interethnic tensions.

• The election of a new government in Greece may offer an opportunity to attempt to solve some of these problems and improve regional relationships.


The district of Himara, however, on the southern coast, appears to have always have had a
Greek population. In the latter period of Ottoman rule, Himara enjoyed a considerable measure
of practical independence from central authority. The town and its six surrounding villages, with a
population of 20,000, paid a yearly tribute of 16,000 francs to the Sublime Porte in
Constantinople. In 1912 the Greek government sent gunboats to Himara to attempt to prevent
the incorporation of Himara district within the new Albanian state.6 Consequently, Greek
historiography claims that since its inception in 1912, the Albanian state has attempted to de-
Hellenise the southern part of Albania.

The tiny, drab, little town of Himara on Albania’s southern coast, plays a hugely disproportionate
role for its size in Albanian - Greek relations, especially around election time, when the activities
of its inhabitants provide a useful barometer of Athens’ relations with Tirana. ..........

In this acutely sensitive context, the ethnic Greek minority decided to boycott the 2001
population census. OMONIA chairman Vangel Dule accused the Albanian authorities of trying to
force the Greek minority to declare themselves Albanians, citing the census because it did not
refer to ethnicity or religion.15 OMONIA urged the minority to boycott the census in order to halt
the “Albanianisation” of minority areas.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Properties of the dual albanian and Greek citizenship in Vlora, still blocked by the Government

High Court gives the right even Patsos family, with Greek citizenship, would take property, while the government arbitrarily blocks it

Institute of execution, enforcement requires a court decision to Patso family properties, and governmental authorities in Vlora residence, do not accept.

Greek Embassy in Tirana, about Vlora event, is following the developments, although Patso family has complained to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, at the time of Dora Bakogianis

According to the Newspaper "Shekulli" a decision of the Supreme Court of Albania, part of the territory known in "cold water" in which being built new apartment block, belongs to the family of Greek citizenship, Patso the origin from Himara.

But police in the presence of the Execution's Office and government authorities in Vlora residence, refused to hand over territory belonging to the 90 years, to Patso family.

Meanwhile, regarding the event in Vlore, the Greek Embassy in Tirana, is not pronounced yet, but will be interested in the Foreign Ministry of Tirana, to explain about the blocking of property of a citizen with Greek citizenship, says the source from embassy.

Tow years ago:

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The big Scandal notes to Athens to protect his conpatriotes and their proprietes in Albania. VLORA: GREEK OLD OWNERS CRASH WITH ALBANIAN GUARD AUTORITYESThe Albanian newspaper "SOT" writes about the incident between realy owners and the autority of Governament resitence of Vlora.................