"Special court for Kosovo crimes to be set up in Hague"

BRUSSELS -- Those accused of organ harvesting and trafficking will be tried before a special court in The Hague and not in Priština as sought by the Kosovo government.

This was reported by Tanjug, which said it learned this from diplomatic sources in Brussels.

The cases concern crimes that are the subject of a report by former Council of Europe rapporteur Dick Marty.

After several months of consultation behind closed doors, the EU member states have decided that persons who happen to be linked to the allegations about organ theft in Kosovo by John Clint Williamson, head of the special investigating team dealing with the case, will be on trial in the Netherlands, a Brussels-based diplomat told Tanjug on the condition of anonymity.

To provide adequate protection of witnesses and other participants in the process would be impossible in Priština, Tanjug’s source said.

The decision brought an end to an offensive Kosovo government campaign waged by Hhasim Thaci to hold a trial in Priština with the participation of Kosovo judges and prosecutors.

Dick Marty’s report points to crimes committed by members of the former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) against Serbs, Roma and “disloyal” Albanians after the withdrawal of Serbian military and police forces from Kosovo in 1999.

The part of the report that got the most public attention is the one containing allegations about organ harvesting of kidnapped civilians in the so-called “Yellow House” in Albania and illicit trafficking of these organs.

The task force led by Williamson has been investigating the allegations from Marty’s report for almost four years now.