Albania accused of obstructing organ trafficking case

TIRANA -- UN official Philip Alston has asked Albania to fully cooperate in an investigation related to the alleged trafficking of organs taken from Serbs civilians.

Alston was in Tirana on Tuesday when he said that the Albanian government has put up "formal obstacles" in the path of the investigation.

"None of the efforts to investigate have received meaningful cooperation on the side of the government of Albania," Alston told a news conference, according to Reuters.

Explanations offered to him by officials "amounted in practice to a game of bureaucratic and diplomatic ping pong in which the responsibility for not responding to requests was moved from one office to the next," the news agency reported.

Alston is a UN special rapporteur to monitor extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

Serbia's War Crimes Prosecution launched its investigation into the case, informally known as the Yellow House, after reports surfaced that hundreds of Kosovo Serb civilians were kidnapped in 1999, and taken to northern Albania by Kosovo's ethnic Albanian terrorists.

According this, the victims' vital organs were removed and sold in the black market.

Kosovo's Albanian authorities and those in Albania rejected these accusations.

Reuters reports today that "former UN (Hague Tribunal) War Crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said in a book published in 2008 her team had investigated reports that around 300 Serbs held in Albania had had organs removed, apparently for trafficking."