A report, made public today by Dick Marty, the member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe who exposed the secret US detention centres and the rendition flights, confirms the charges of Carla Del Ponte that forces associated with the Kosovo Liberation Army took Serb prisoners into Albania where they were murdered for their organs, which were subsequently trafficked through organized crime networks.
The opening paragraph of the report explains the background:
1. In April 2008 Madam Carla Del Ponte, the former Chief Prosecutor before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), published a set of memoirs, co-authored with Chuck Sudetic, on her experiences within the tribunal. The book initially came out in Italian (“La caccia – Io e i criminali di guerra”), then in translation, notably in French (“La traque, les criminels de guerre et moi”). In the book, almost ten years after the end of the war in Kosovo, there appeared revelations of trafficking in human organs taken from Serb prisoners, reportedly carried out by leading commanders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). These claims were surprising in several respects and have provoked a host of strong reactions. They were surprising, in the first place, because they emanated from someone who exercised the highest official responsibilities, at the very heart of the judicial system tasked with prosecuting the crimes committed in the course of the conflicts that ravaged the former
. Furthermore, and above all, they were surprising because they revealed an apparent absence of official follow-up in respect of allegations that were nevertheless deemed serious enough to warrant inclusion in the memoirs of the former Prosecutor could hardly have ignored the grave and far-reaching nature of the allegations she had decided to make public. Yugoslavia
The Report is quite damning with respect to the Kosovo Liberation Army:
29. The overall picture that emerges from our inquiry differs dramatically in several respects from the conventional portrayal of the Kosovo conflict. Indeed, while there was certainly an intensely fought battle for the destiny of the
, there were very few instances in which opposing armed factions confronted one another on any kind of military frontlines. territoryof Kosovo
30. The abhorrent abuses of the Serb military and police structures in trying to subjugate and ultimately to expel the ethnic
Albanian population of Kosovo are well known and documented.
31. The evidence we have uncovered is perhaps most significant in that it often contradicts the much-touted image of the Kosovo Liberation Army, or KLA, as a guerrilla army that fought valiantly to defend the right of its people to inhabit the territory of Kosovo.
32. While there were undoubtedly numerous brave soldiers who were willing to go to the warfront, in the face of considerable adversity, and if necessary die for the cause of an independent Kosovar
Albanian motherland, these fighters were not necessarily in the majority.
33. From the testimony we have managed to amass, the policy and strategy of some KLA leaders were much more complex than a simple agenda to overpower their Serb oppressors.
34. On the one hand, the KLA leadership coveted recognition and support from foreign partners including, notably, the United States Government. Towards this end the KLA’s internationally well-connected “spokesmen” had to fulfil certain promises to their partners and sponsors, and / or adhere to particular terms of engagement that were the de facto conditions of their receiving support from overseas.
35. On the other hand, though, a number of the senior commanders of the KLA have reportedly not failed to profit from the war, including by securing material and personal benefits for themselves. They wanted to secure access to resources for themselves and their family / clan members, notably through positions of power in political office, or in lucrative industries such as petroleum, construction and real estate. They wanted to avenge what they perceived as historical injustices perpetrated against the
Albanian population in the former . And many of them were seemingly bent on profiteering to the maximum of their potential while they had operational control of certain lawless territories (e.g. in parts of southern and western Kosovo), and leverage – especially in terms of financial resources – with which to negotiate footholds for themselves in other territories (e.g. in Yugoslavia Albania).
36. The reality is that the most significant operational activities undertaken by members of the KLA – prior to, during, and in the immediate aftermath of the conflict – took place on the
, where the Serb security forces were never deployed. territoryof Albania
Marty proposes a draft resolution for the Parliamentary Assembly, notes 'the appalling crimes committed by
Serbian forces, which stirred up very strong feelings worldwide, gave rise to a mood reflected as well in the attitude of certain international agencies, according to which it was invariably one side that were regarded as the perpetrators of crimes and the other side as the victims, thus necessarily innocent. The reality is less clear-cut and more complex."