EU mission "incapable of conducting organ probe"

BELGRADE -- Former Hague Tribunal Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte says EULEX is not capable of conducting an objective investigation of Kosovo human organ trafficking.

Carla Del Ponte (FoNet, file)
Carla Del Ponte (FoNet, file)

In an interview with Radio Belgrade, Del Ponte said that EULEX neither had an efficient witness protection program, nor the authority to perform investigations in Albania.

"As far as I know, EULEX is incapable of conducting the investigation because, primarily, it does not have effective witness protection programs. Moreover, EULEX cannot investigate outside of the borders of Kosovo, because it has no jurisdiction, and this investigation calls for exactly that," Del Ponte said, adding that the UN Security Council would have to make the decision on the investigation of this case in order for it to be independent.

Council of Europe rapporteur Dick Marty stated in his report on trafficking in human organs in Kosovo that these crimes involved people subordinate to Hashim Thaci, a former leader of the KLA and the current Kosovo Albanian prime minister. Marty also said that the victims were mostly Serbs who had been abducted by the KLA.

Del Ponte told the radio that an independent investigation could take place only after the UN Security Council (SC) adopted a relevant decision.

"I would like to continue investigating, but the question is whether it can be done by me. To my knowledge, EULEX is not able to investigate, because first of all, they have no effective witness protection program, she stressed, adding that EULEX cannot conduct an investigation beyond the borders of Kosovo, because they have no jurisdiction to do so, and this investigation calls exactly for that. For this investigation to be an independent one, a decision in that regard should be made by the UN Security Council."

The former chief prosecutor said she had no regrets in connection with her own allegations about human organ trafficking.

"I did everything I could," she said.

The investigation could not continue because some witnesses could not be brought for the hearing, and some refused to be interviewed, Del Ponte explained, adding that Albania has refused to cooperate with the Hague Tribubal and that the court officials also met with difficulties in Kosovo.

Del Ponte pointed to the problem of lack of jurisdiction of the Hague in Albania.

"I thought somebody else should have continued this investigation, but unfortunately, no one did that," Del Ponte said, adding that the report of the Special Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Dick Marty on the trafficking in organs is to be welcomed, because it not only confirms what she wrote in her book, "but also speaks about certain other things".