Williamson: Close To Ten Cases Of Human Organ Trafficking

BRUSSELS, July 29, 2014 (BETA) - John Clint Williamson, the EULEX chief prosecutor looking into the allegations that Serbs and prisoners of other nationalities were murdered for organ trafficking in Kosovo and Albania in 1999, said on July 29 that he believed there were some "ten" cases in which human organ trafficking by the Kosovo Liberation Army was confirmed.

Speaking in Brussels, Williamson said the number might go up as the investigation developed, but that it was a "handful" of victims, rather than hundreds. "When I say a handful, I mean less than ten," Williamson explained.

The chief prosecutor said the EULEX Special Investigative Task Force he's leading "will be able to press charges against the former KLA leaders for crimes against humanity and probably war crimes," because they deliberately killed, kidnapped and prosecuted Serbs, Roma and other minorities in Kosovo, as well as Albanian political rivals."

Williamson said it was certainly possible that some leaders would be indicted for killing the prisoners and harvesting their organs, but wished to emphasize that he possessed no information that all the Serbs who were killed or went missing were the victims of human organ trafficking.

Williamson also said that he worked very hard to create a reliable witness-protection structure, and that he managed to do so despite "active efforts to undermine the investigation," intimidate or eliminate witnesses.

Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic described Williamson's report as a "satisfaction" to the victims and a great contribution to international justice.

"It is clear that war crimes were committed, and we'll see if human organ trafficking occurred or not," Vukcevic said in an interview with BETA.

The Kosovo government said that Williamson's report was a significant step toward establishing possible individual responsibility for crimes, and that it would stop ungrounded accusations in the future.

The Association of Families of Victims of Kosovo and Metohija was displeased with the Williamson report, expecting indictment against Kosovo political leaders based on command responsibility.

The U.S. Embassy in Serbia welcomed the report by the EULEX Special Investigative Task Force, and said that Washington was strongly in favor of setting up a court to deal with the results of the investigation.

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