Kosovo is "mafia state", says Italian MEP
STRASBOURG -- An Italian member of the European Parliament Foreign Policy Committee has commented on the Kosovo organ trafficking case.
Pino Arlacchi spoke for the BBC Serbian service in Strasbourg this week to say that he hoped he and like-minded MEPs would succeed in their attempt to have an EP rapporteur appointed to look into "what EULEX (the EU mission in Kosovo) has been doing all these years".
Arlacchi, a sociology professor, is known in Italy as a "mafia expert". From 1997 until 2002 he was the Executive Director of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP).
Now he spoke in favor of probing the work of EULEX, in the wake of the Marty report - which accused the ethnic Albanian KLA of kidnapping Serb civilians and killing them for their organs, and which provided the basis for a Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)resolution adopted last month, calling for an investigation into the allegations.
Unlike PACE which gathers 47 countries, the European Parliament members come only from the 27 EU states.
The BBC learned from unofficial contacts with MEPs that there was still "implied resistance" to opening up the issues of "organized crime and alleged organ trafficking" in Kosovo.
Ahead of a closed meeting that CoE's Dick Marty will have with the EP committee in March, Arlacchi voiced his optimism and said he believed the EP would soon "exit its phase of keeping silent on the Marty report".
"I believe there will be a debate. We already have the regular report on Kosovo, and it touches on various issues. If there is broad agreement, perhaps we could have a special report on the same subject that was investigated by Marty. Perhaps I, together with my colleagues, will win over a majority in favor of investigating this question more seriously. We could also have another topic for a report - and that is EULEX - the EU police and judiciary mission in Kosovo, and the fact that even after three years their work has not produced results," said the Italian MEP, and continued:
"If nothing has been done during three years, that means something's wrong, that we must change two things: first, our policy toward Kosovo, and second, the way EULEX is organized. I read Marty's report, which is excellent and contains much information and details. It ought to receive strong support, and I am surprised it has not received it from EULEX."
Asked to comment on unofficial statements coming from some MEPs that "Marty must provide evidence" - despite the fact the Swiss CoE rapporteur is neither a judge nor a prosecutor - Arlachi responded:
"The thing is that there is no judicial evidence. I've mentioned EULEX, which, as far as I know, has ten prosecutors, precisely for that reason. What have they been up to these three years? They are responsible for the work of the local judiciary, which should have the final word. Whatever one says about Kosovo - there is no judicial evidence to back it up. We can say there is organized crime, and strong ties of politicians with all that, but we have no judicial evidence on that. The principal goal of both those accused and democracy is to undertake a judicial investigation. Marty's conclusions cannot be taken as definitive. It's a paradox that without a judicial investigation we will continue as before - and that's unacceptable".
Another CoE rapporteur, Jean-Charles Gardetto, recently submitted his report on witness protection in the Balkans, which states that EULEX is not capable of protecting witnesses, and that "the EULEX personnel, if they do their job in big cases, expose themselves and the members of their families to danger".
In reaction to this, Arlacchi mentoned Italy's fight against the mafia.
"I'm sorry to say it, but when you fight against organized crime - you are in danger. They (EULEX) must be prepared for that - there can be no serious investigation without any risks. That's a separate subject: investigators must be protected, there must be a witness protection program in place. It will be hard to achieve anything without that. In Italy we overpowered the mafia when we established an efficient witness protection program. It included 5,000 people, and naturally, it's expensive. But none of the witnesses were murdered. I think that EULEX should launch an investigation, because that is the job of EULEX. If they are unable to protect witnesses - then that's a disaster."
Arlacchi also noted that "it is clear everyone knew about ties between Kosovo's leaders and the KLA with organized crime", and repeated his recent statement that Kosovo was a "mafia state".
"When I worked for the UN in 1999 as Executive Director of the Office for Drug Control, I issued an order to have a report made on the situation in Kosovo. I sent that internal report to the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the end of that same year. The picture that the report painted was exactly what you see today: the same structures, the same people, the same disgraceful situation. It's disgraceful how Europe and the United States faced the problem. They wanted political results, and in a way, they wanted a war to break out over there. It was done by turning their heads away from KLA's criminal activities. Later on, I was in Kosovo for a few months in 2004, and I had access to some NATO files. The picture was effectively the same," Arlacchi concluded his interview for the BBC.
četvrtak 24.02.2011 | 16:39 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković says Serbia needs a government which would deserve respect and make results.
četvrtak 24.02.2011 | 16:00 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Opposition SNS party leader Tomislav Nikolić has called on PM Mirko Cvetković to resign, "giving Serbian citizens an opportunity to choose new leaders".
četvrtak 24.02.2011 | 15:26 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Justice Minister Snežana Malović says that an extensive verification is under way regarding the data related to the operations of the Kolubara Coal Mine.
četvrtak 24.02.2011 | 13:22 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (5) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- PM Mirko Cvetković says that the investigation into organ trade should be conducted by the bodies authorized to investigate in all countries linked to the case.
četvrtak 24.02.2011 | 12:21 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- Opposition parties and a number of NGOs have announced a lawsuit before the Constitutional Court of Kosovo over Behgjet Pacolli's appointment as a president.
četvrtak 24.02.2011 | 10:54 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (16) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbian Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanović says that the new Kosovo government does not promise that it will provide better future for Serbs or Albanians.
četvrtak 24.02.2011 | 10:36 | Source: B92 | Comments: (4) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Serbian parliament will continue its session in Belgrade on Thursday.
četvrtak 24.02.2011 | 10:20 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BRUSSELS -- Cooperation between the EU and the Western Balkans in implementation and control of visa liberalization has so far brought promising results.
četvrtak 24.02.2011 | 09:29 | Source: B92 | Comments: (8) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Another airplane will leave for Tripoli from Belgrade today, to bring home 60 remaining Serbian citizens slated for air evacuation.
sreda 23.02.2011 | 18:56 | Source: B92, Tanjug | Comments: (5) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- All three Jat Airways airplanes that left for Tripoli, Libya, early this morning, have landed in Belgrade.
sreda 23.02.2011 | 16:45 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- State Secretary for Kosovo Oliver Ivanović and UNMIK chief Lamberto Zannier met today in Kosovska Mitrovica.
sreda 23.02.2011 | 16:43 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Čedomir Jovanović says the formation of institutions in Priština is important for the start of Belgrade-Priština talks.
sreda 23.02.2011 | 15:38 | Source: Beta | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dačić has stated that visa liberalization is not at risk at the moment.
sreda 23.02.2011 | 14:25 | Source: Beta | Comments: (7) | Send comment
NOVI PAZAR -- Urban-in NGO Director Aida Ćorović was given police protection after verbal attacks and insults from Islamic Community in Serbia Chief Mufti Muamer Zukorlić.
sreda 23.02.2011 | 13:36 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (20) | Send comment
ZVEČAN -- Around a hundred people blocked on Wednesday for the second day the Kosovska Mitrovica-Leposavić road at the village of Rudare, near Zvečan.
sreda 23.02.2011 | 11:39 | Source: Tanjug, Večernje novosti | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has stated that he fully supports the EU integration process of Serbia and the entire Western Balkan region.
sreda 23.02.2011 | 11:32 | Source: Večernje novosti | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- G17 Plus will not undermine the government, Telecommunications Minister and acting Economy Minister Jasna Matić, told daily Večernje novosti.
sreda 23.02.2011 | 10:11 | Source: B92 | Comments: (8) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- The Kosovo assembly has elected the new Kosovo government which will be led by Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) leader Hashim Thaci.
sreda 23.02.2011 | 09:46 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BERLIN -- Serbian Deputy PM Božidar Đelić says German FM Guido Westerwelle told him that Serbia can count on Germany's full support in the process of EU integration.
sreda 23.02.2011 | 09:32 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Serbian government does not want to sell the majority of Telekom Srbija "at any cost", says PM Mirko Cvetković.
utorak 22.02.2011 | 16:35 | Source: B92 | Comments: (7) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- B92 has learned that the Libyan authorities have allowed Serbian planes to land in Tripoli in order to start flying Serbian citizens out of that country.
utorak 22.02.2011 | 16:17 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (4) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Chief Hague Prosecutor Serge Brammertz met in Belgrade on Thursday with Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukčević.
utorak 22.02.2011 | 16:06 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (18) | Send comment
GRAČANICA -- The Gračanica Health Center emergency services today held a "150 seconds protest", said reports.
utorak 22.02.2011 | 13:08 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (4) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbian President Boris Tadić will be on an official visit to Japan from March 7 until 10, according to his pres service.
utorak 22.02.2011 | 12:28 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (23) | Send comment
BRUSSELS -- The Foreign Affairs Council of the Council of the European Union decided in Brussels to extend the mandate of EU representative in Kosovo Pieter Feith.
utorak 22.02.2011 | 10:12 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Chief Hague Prosecutor Serge Brammertz will confer on Tuesday in Belgrade with Serbian officials.
utorak 22.02.2011 | 10:03 | Source: Beta | Comments: (9) | Send comment
SOFIA -- Some 200 Bulgarian nationalists demonstrated in Sofia during the visit of Serbian PM Mirko Cvetković on Monday.
utorak 22.02.2011 | 09:42 | Source: Beta | Comments: (7) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- FM Vuk Jeremić said on Monday that Serbia will continue insisting on a UN mandate for the investigation into allegations of human organ trafficking in Kosovo.
utorak 22.02.2011 | 09:26 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- European integration will be the main topic as German FM Guido Westerwelle and Serbian Deputy PM Božidar Đelić meet on Tuesday in Berlin.
ponedeljak 21.02.2011 | 17:24 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (3) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Parliament Committee On Defense And Security has adopted a draft decisions on armed forces engagement in multinational operations in 2011.
ponedeljak 21.02.2011 | 16:52 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Opposition SNS leader Tomislav Nikolić says his party will support reducing the number of ministries.
ponedeljak 21.02.2011 | 16:51 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- General Secretary of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Jakup Krasniqi was elected president of the new Kosovo assembly.
ponedeljak 21.02.2011 | 16:48 | Source: B92 | Comments: (64) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- A group of some 50 citizens of Serbia has been attacked in their camp several hundred kilometers away from Tripoli, Libya.
ponedeljak 21.02.2011 | 12:58 | Source: B92, Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Ministry of Economy on Monday qualified as untrue the statements by former state secretary for finance Slobodan Ilić.
ponedeljak 21.02.2011 | 12:40 | Source: B92, Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The recent flareup in the crisis faced by the Serbian government was formally settled today in the Serbian parliament.
ponedeljak 21.02.2011 | 10:39 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (3) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The first expert mission of the European Commission (EC) in charge of verifying Serbia's answers to the EC questionnaire is due to arrive in Belgrade on Monday.
ponedeljak 21.02.2011 | 10:32 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković starts on Monday a two-day official visit to Bulgaria.
ponedeljak 21.02.2011 | 09:45 | Source: FoNet | Comments: (29) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbia's Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić has confirmed that Russian PM Vladimir Putin will visit Belgrade on March 23.
ponedeljak 21.02.2011 | 09:33 | Source: B92, Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Hague Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz will arrive in Belgrade on Monday on a regular visit, according to announcements.
nedelja 20.02.2011 | 16:27 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- There is no political crisis in Serbia, Serbian parliament speaker Slavica Đukić-Dejanović told B92.
nedelja 20.02.2011 | 16:08 | Source: Beta, AP | Comments: (14) | Send comment
Albanian witnesses from Kosovo gave a detailed testimony in 2003 about the trade of Serbs' organs, according to a UN document obtained by The Associated Press.
nedelja 20.02.2011 | 14:31 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukčević says that much has been done in the search for the remaining two Hague fugitives, but that few results are visible.
nedelja 20.02.2011 | 13:39 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (16) | Send comment
PRAGUE -- The leaked confidential documents on human organ trade belong to UNMIK, former UNMIK Forensics and Missing Persons Office Head Jose Pablo Baraybar said.
nedelja 20.02.2011 | 12:34 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) leader Vojislav Koštunica says the government has started “a fight against itself” instead of dealing with the failed economy.
nedelja 20.02.2011 | 10:56 | Source: B92, Press | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The government has a higher authority after dismissal of Economy Minister Mlađan Dinkić, said Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković.
nedelja 20.02.2011 | 10:01 | Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (7) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) leader Hashim Thaci and New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) leader Behgjet Pacolli have signed the agreement to form a new government.
nedelja 20.02.2011 | 09:45 | Source: Tanjug, Večernje novosti | Comments: (4) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule has stated that the EU has completed preparations for Belgrade-Priština dialogue in which it will act as a mediator.
subota 19.02.2011 | 16:54 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- B92 has learned that Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković will submit a proposal for the government reshuffle to the ruling coalition leaders next week.
subota 19.02.2011 | 15:41 | Source: Tanjug, Press | Comments: (8) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Head of the Serbian negotiating team for the Belgrade-Priština talks Borko Stefanović expects the dialogue to begin after the new Kosovo government is formed.
subota 19.02.2011 | 13:30 | Source: Tanjug, Večernje novosti | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule has praised the Serbian administration for answering the European Commission questionnaire quickly.
subota 19.02.2011 | 12:09 | Source: Tanjug, Večernje novosti | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbian PM Mirko Cvetković claims that two options for the government reshuffle are currently being discussed – merger of ministries and personnel changes.
subota 19.02.2011 | 10:31 | Source: FoNet | Comments: (4) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbian Deputy PM Božidar Đelić has stated that 81 percent of Serbia’s National EU Integration Program for the period from October until December was fulfilled.
subota 19.02.2011 | 10:02 | Source: Beta | Comments: (1) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and the New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) will sign a coalition agreement today, PDK deputy leader Hajredin Kuci has announced.
subota 19.02.2011 | 09:30 | Source: Beta | Comments: (18) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- Kosovo Acting President Jakup Krasniqi named Hashim Thaci prime minister designate on Friday.
subota 19.02.2011 | 09:03 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (4) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- After its reorganization has been completed, KFOR will remain in close contact with citizens in all parts of Kosovo, KFOR Spokesman Hans-Dieter Wichter stated.
petak 18.02.2011 | 17:15 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (7) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will arrive here for an official visit in mid-March, sources close to the Serbian government said.
petak 18.02.2011 | 16:54 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (14) | Send comment
THE HAGUE, BELGRADE -- The investigators of the Hague Tribunal did not author the confidential document that has appeared in the media recently.
petak 18.02.2011 | 16:17 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Deputy PM Božidar Đelić says it is very important to implement the action plan for reaching EU candidate status by the end of June.
petak 18.02.2011 | 16:13 | Source: B92, Blic | Comments: (0) | Send comment
The opposition SNS party has denied a report in a Belgrade daily today that it had hired a former U.S. ambassador in Belgrade.
petak 18.02.2011 | 15:44 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (34) | Send comment
CAMBRIDGE -- Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić has said Serbia is committed to reaching a compromise over the Kosovo issue.
petak 18.02.2011 | 13:36 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbia's Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dačić says there is no political crisis in Serbia.
petak 18.02.2011 | 12:25 | Source: Politika | Comments: (16) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- According to unofficial information, Council of Europe Rapporteur Dick Marty could appear before the European Parliament Foreign Policy Committee on March 10.
petak 18.02.2011 | 10:43 | Source: B92, Tanjug | Comments: (9) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbian President Boris Tadić has stated that the state will stop everybody who is jeopardizing the safety of its citizens.
petak 18.02.2011 | 09:48 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- PM Mirko Cvetković said that there will be a government reshuffle by the end of the month, because the government "needs new energy and new people."
petak 18.02.2011 | 09:30 | Source: Beta | Comments: (29) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Rasim Ljajić has commented on "information that the UN knew about human organ trafficking in Kosovo but turned a blind eye to the crime".