Kouchner refers to reporter as "sick, insane"

GRAČANICA -- French FM Bernard Kouchner has referred to a VOA reporter in Kosovo as "insane", when asked to comment on the Kosovo human organ trafficking case.

Kouchner, right, tells reporter he is sick, insane (Beta)
Kouchner, right, tells reporter he is sick, insane (Beta)

In the Serb enclave of Gračanica today, journalist Budimir Ničić asked the French minister about his position regarding the human organ trafficking allegations.

The case, investigated by the Serbian War Crimes Prosecution, a Council of Europe rapporteur, and recently addressed by a high-ranking UN official, is known informally as the Yellow House.

Kouchner was asked to comment on the case, and claims of the families of the kidnapped and murdered Serbs, who accused him of participating in the human organ trafficking.

When Ničić posed his question, Kouchner laughed out loud and proceeded to address the journalist in an offensive tone: "Organ trade? But you are sick, aren't you? Do I look like someone who would traffic organs? You are insane, to believe all kinds of nonsense like that".

"What's the yellow house? Why yellow? Sir, you should consult (a doctor). There was no yellow house, there was no organ trade. People who talk about things like that are bums and murderers," the French diplomat was heard saying in a video that has surfaced since.

The organ trafficking case is investigating claims, also mentioned in a book published by former Hague Tribunal Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, that hundreds of Serb civilians were kidnapped in Kosovo in 1999 by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), to be taken to northern Albania, where their vital organs were removed and sold in the black market.

One of the locations mentioned as the possible place where the kidnapped civilians were operated on was a house with a yellow façade.

Kouchner, who was UN administrator in Kosovo from 1999 until 2001, today visited the newly formed municipality of Gračanica, the nearby Serb monastery and the local healthcare center, where he met with Radmila Trajković.

Kouchner was visiting Belgrade on Monday for talks with top Serbian state officials.