Wednesday, December 15, 2010

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.

No comments: