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Investigation into Kosovo organ trafficking launched

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Summary of story from The Independent, August 30, 2011

In 2008, former United Nations (UN) war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, made public claims that a criminal network in Kosovo had sold organs of captured civilians during the 1998-99 Kosovo war.

Now a US prosecutor is to further investigate these claims after a report last year alleged that Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, ran detention centres where civilian captives were killed and their organs sold on the black market.

Mr Thaci has denied the allegation and said he is ready to co-operate with any investigation into the claims.

Classified UN documents suggest the organisation’s mission in Kosovo was aware of the organ-trafficking allegations as early as 2003, when alleged witness statements were made available to investigators.

UN authorities briefly investigated the claims in 2004 but never launched a full inquiry.

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