"Independent body should conduct probe"

STRASBOURG -- Investigation into human organ trade should be conducted by an independent institution and not by EULEX, says Council of Europe (CoE) Rapporteur Dick Marty.

Dick Marty (Tanjug)
Dick Marty (Tanjug)

He explained that it was not because he did not have confidence in EULEX but because “an authority which is probably from outside Kosovo” was necessary for investigation of Kosovo political circles’ connection with organized crime.

After the resolution on human organ trade in Kosovo had been adopted in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), Marty explained that it was necessary to provide full protection of witnesses and called on the Albanian authorities to cooperate in the investigation.

“It’s not that I don’t have confidence in everybody who work in EULEX and I’ve said in my report that there are people of great value there, but another solution needs to be found when an investigation of persons who have high political responsibility in the country should be investigated, an authority that is probably from outside Kosovo, completely independent and that’s the key problem,” the CoE rapporteur pointed out.

He also stressed that it was therefore necessary to guarantee full witness protection because recent past had showed that witnesses had not been adequately protected in Kosovo and mentioned Jean Charles Gardetto’s report on witness protection.

“If EULEX should deal with this problem, additional funds should be provided and as far as procedure is concerned, especially witness protection, it should have much more funds at its disposal than it has had until now,” Marty added.

He stated that his report pointed to serious problems in Kosovo’s judicial institutions and that some ruling political circles were suspected of having close ties with organized crime.

“I believe this should be a subject of a deep analysis, we can speak about EULEX, international criminal court, but I think that Kosovo Albanians are primarily the ones that should solve the problem. I think that Kosovo civilian society’s reaction is necessary,” the Swiss politician said.

He stressed that his report was not about the independence of Kosovo but that it was only about the protection of human rights and implementation of EULEX’s Human Rights Convention.

“Political issue regarding independence was not the subject of the report at all,” the CoE rapporteur pointed out.

Commenting on Albanian PM Sali Berisha’s accusations that he was “a spokesman of Serbian ultra nationalistic circles” and that there was a “racist and anti-Albanian hysteria”, Marty said that such statements “are not worthy of a prime minister”.

“I can understand that badly informed citizens can have such position, but somebody who is the head of the country should be more careful with such statements,” he stressed.

Marty believes that “the reaction is a sign of weakness” and a “sign that he has not cooperated enough so far, and Berisha knows it”.

“I only hope that the Albanian authorities will truly cooperate in the search for truth, especially in search for the missing persons,” he said and added that he UN special representative for the missing persons had criticized the Albanian authorities over insufficient cooperation in the search for the missing after the conflict in Kosovo.

The CoE rapporteur noted that he had never intended to criticize the Albanian people and assessed that Berisha “probably has not even read his report”.

“I differentiate between political authorities that did not make certain decision and the Albanian people. Those are two completely different things,” he told Beta news agency.

When asked whether it was true that he was under police protection during last week’s PACE meeting, Marty said that “the first rule of security is not to talk about it”.