Ex-Hague prosecutor: NATO, KLA's ally

Former Chief Hague Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte told the Swiss Le Temps newspaper that NATO was an ally of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

Izvor: B92

Monday, 20.12.2010.

11:54

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Former Chief Hague Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte told the Swiss Le Temps newspaper that NATO was an ally of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Her compatriot Dick Marty, the Swiss senator appointed as CoE rapporteur, last week unveiled a damning report linking KLA to kidnappings of Serbs and other civilians in Kosovo and black market trade in their body parts. Ex-Hague prosecutor: NATO, KLA's ally Kosovo Albanian PM Hashim Thaci was named as the leader of a KLA group responsible for these and other serious crimes. The Serbian investigation, known informally as the Yellow House case, picked up in early 2008, after excerpts from Del Ponte's book were leaked to the media. "I am grateful to the Council of Europe and Dick Marty for deepening suspicions about the organ trade and publishing information that we did not possess. The EULEX mission has a basis to move forward," the former Hague prosecutor said. Asked about the evidence that was obtained by the Hague Tribunal, Del Ponte said that the court had testimonies of persons who transported prisoners from one prison camp to anther, and to a hospital, and that those were "very serious testimonies". "We also knew there were mass pits (graves) in Albania, where we perhaps could have recovered bodies that missed organs," she said. Del Ponte explained in the interview that The Hague-based UN war crimes court investigated disappearances of 400 persons and that there were indications that a group of about ten might have been the victim of organ trafficking. "But witnesses were intimidated and refused to repeat their statements before the Hague Tribunal. The traces of the crime were in Albania, but Albanian authorities refused to conduct an investigation, saying they already did so unsuccessfully. These events took place during the summer of 1999, after the hostilities. At that time the Hague Tribunal's expertise was doubted. UNMIK (UN mission in Kosovo) could have taken over the investigation, but did not do so," she was further quoted as saying. "We (the Hague) investigated many crimes against humanity. We did not have NATO's support because they were allies of the KLA. UNMIK did not give us documents that we needed. That was a huge problem," said Del Ponte. She added that "justice must be done, there cannot be talk about stability without justice, or acceptance of a criminal president", adding that she "hoped justice would be done". Carla Del Ponte (FoNet, file)

Ex-Hague prosecutor: NATO, KLA's ally

Kosovo Albanian PM Hashim Thaci was named as the leader of a KLA group responsible for these and other serious crimes.

The Serbian investigation, known informally as the Yellow House case, picked up in early 2008, after excerpts from Del Ponte's book were leaked to the media.

"I am grateful to the Council of Europe and Dick Marty for deepening suspicions about the organ trade and publishing information that we did not possess. The EULEX mission has a basis to move forward," the former Hague prosecutor said.

Asked about the evidence that was obtained by the Hague Tribunal, Del Ponte said that the court had testimonies of persons who transported prisoners from one prison camp to anther, and to a hospital, and that those were "very serious testimonies".

"We also knew there were mass pits (graves) in Albania, where we perhaps could have recovered bodies that missed organs," she said.

Del Ponte explained in the interview that The Hague-based UN war crimes court investigated disappearances of 400 persons and that there were indications that a group of about ten might have been the victim of organ trafficking.

"But witnesses were intimidated and refused to repeat their statements before the Hague Tribunal. The traces of the crime were in Albania, but Albanian authorities refused to conduct an investigation, saying they already did so unsuccessfully. These events took place during the summer of 1999, after the hostilities. At that time the Hague Tribunal's expertise was doubted. UNMIK (UN mission in Kosovo) could have taken over the investigation, but did not do so," she was further quoted as saying.

"We (the Hague) investigated many crimes against humanity. We did not have NATO's support because they were allies of the KLA. UNMIK did not give us documents that we needed. That was a huge problem," said Del Ponte.

She added that "justice must be done, there cannot be talk about stability without justice, or acceptance of a criminal president", adding that she "hoped justice would be done".

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