No evidence of trade in Albanian organs

SKOPJE -- Skopje has no official information on the claims that there was trafficking of Albanians' organs through Macedonia during the Kosovo conflict.

Albanian language media in Kosovo recently picked up articles in Macedonian papers in Albanian that the organs of Kosovo Albanians listed missing were "harvested and sold to Russians by Serbs".

The Macedonian Interior Ministry (MUP) told the Beta news agency that this is the first time they have heard these allegations, and that there have been no demands for investigations.

A similar statement was given by the Macedonian Foreign Ministry as well.

The Albanian language daily Lajm, printed in Skopje, stated that there are suspicions that the bodies of 20 Kosovo Albanians are buried in a Skopje cemetery, which the administration of the Butel cemetery is denying, telling Beta that every funeral is registered in its book-keeping.

Serbian War Crimes Prosecution Spokesperson Bruno Vekarić said that the story is a political reaction to an investigation into KLA crimes against Kosovo's Serbs, adding that the prosecution is prepared to investigate that case as well if it is true.

“We do not deal with politics, we keep to the process matters. If all this is true, we are ready to investigate it to the end,” Vekarić said, adding that the Serbian prosecution expects the same stance from the Albanian prosecution when it comes to the Serb victims.

Serbia has opened a probe into the case of missing Kosovo Serbs after former Hague Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte wrote in her book that there were investigations of suspected organ harvesting operations in North Albania.

The case of the kidnapped Serbs who are believed to have been killed in northern Albania in 1999, after their vital organs were harvested, is also investigated by Council of Europe rapporteur Dick Marty, who is due in Belgrade at the end of the month.