Kosovo illegal transplants case doctor "has new clinic"

BELGRADE -- A Turkish doctor accused in the Medicus illegal transplants case in Kosovo recently "escaped" from South Africa, says the Serbian war crimes prosecutor.

Vladimir Vukčević (FoNet, file)
Vladimir Vukčević (FoNet, file)

Vladimir Vukčević told Belgrade's Večernje Novosti daily that Yusuf Somnez is now "in another African country", where he had "set up a clinic for organ transplants".

According to Vukčević, South Africa would not extradite Somnez to Priština "because it does not recognize the EULEX judicial system and Kosovo".

Vukčević further asserted that upon receiving "the data" he and Organized Crime Prosecutor Miljko Radisavljević "attempted to prevent Somnez's escape, but it was too late".

On Monday, the EU mission in Kosovo, EULEX, Prosecutor Jonathan Ratel accused Russia of obstructing what he referred to as "the most important international human organ trafficking investigation in Europe".

According to Ratel's allegations, Russia is ignoring requests coming from EULEX to forward the evidence it had related to the case of the Priština clinic Medicus.

This peacetime case concerns allegations of illegal organ transplants taking place in the Priština clinic, with donors who were promised money in exchange for their kidneys.

However, in his 2010 report about the wartime organ trafficking in Kosovo and Albania, Council of Europe Special Rapporteur Dick Marty referred to the case and noted that he found "credible, convergent indications" that the practice had been present for the past decade.

The report accuses ethnic Albanian KLA of being behind kidnappings and illegal imprisonment of Serb and other civilians in Kosovo in 1999 and 2000, and harvesting of their vital organs to be sold in the international black market.