Pristina, 13 April 2008 – The Kosovo Albanian government will not investigate Carla Del Ponte’s claims that Kosovo Serbs were kidnapped to have their organs removed.

This was reported today in Priština by the Albanian language daily Express.

The former chief Hague prosecutor, now Switzerland’s ambassador to Argentina, wrote in her book “The Hunt” that she investigated allegations that after the end of the 1999 war in the province, some 300 Kosovo Serbs were kidnapped, transported to Albania, where they had their organs removed, after which they were killed and buried in mass graves.

She also said the 2003 probe into the case “could not proceed”, and named the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, as being behind the alleged atrocity.

Today, Express quoted Kosovo’s deputy premier Hajredin Kuchi as saying that “such slander by Del Ponte serves to justify unfounded accusations against former KLA fighters”.

Kosovo’s prime minister, Hashim Thaci, is one of the former leaders of the KLA.

The daily adds that the Human Rights Watch request to Thaci to start an investigation into the allegations, made public this week, “will also not be considered”.

As for the leading Kosovo Albanian human rights NGO, Council for Human Rights and Freedoms, they dismissed the Del Ponte claims as “pure lies”.

“The Kosovo government made the mistake of not reacting in time. They should have reacted and raised an indictment against Del Ponte for slander,” the group’s chairman Bedzet Shala said.

Another former KLA leader, Ramush Haradinaj, who was recently acquitted by the Hague Tribunal of charges that included 1998 murders, torture and rape of Serbs, other non-Albanians and Albanians seen as loyal to Serbia, joined Shala in his request to start legal proceedings against Del Ponte.

Source: B 92/Beta