Balkanblog: current issues in the Balkans
31 Jan 2011 - Milorad Momic was arrested in the French Alps where he had been living under a pseudonym. He was a member of the Serbian unit the Scorpions, a special unit controlled by the Serbian Interior Ministry that took part in the slaughter of 8,000 Bosnians at Srebrenica in 1995.
31 Jan 2011 - Former chief of the Yugoslav Army Security Directorate, Aco Tomic, was questioned in Belgrade on suspicion that he helped hide Ratko Mladic.
An investigation against Tomic and several others was first launched in 2006. The investigation was stopped after a meeting in the cabinet of then justice minister Zoran Stojkovic.
Serbian police also searched the home of Darko Mladic, the son of war crime fugitive Ratko Mladic, was ordered by war crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic to find "evidence and clues pointing to the location where Mladic is hiding."
28 Jan 2011 - The EU mission in Kosovo has begun investigating allegations that Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) rebels engaged in organ trafficking. A report by Dick Marty was approved by the Council of Europe earlier.
The investigation will focus on the aftermath of the Kosovo conflict, including "numerous indications" that organs were removed from the bodies of prisoners held by the KLA on Albanian territory.
25 Jan 2011 - Leaked NATO documents from 2004 described Kosovo's prime minister Hashim Thaci as one of the country's "biggest fish" organized crime. This was reported by The Guardian. Kosovo dismissed the allegations. Xhavit Haliti, a close ally of Thaci, was described as the power behind Thaci and "highly involved in prostitution, weapons and drugs smuggling."
Dick Marty, a Council of Europe rapporteur, has reported these allegations in a recent report.
Source: The Telegraph.
24 Jan 2011 - The Kosovo Central Election Commission announced that preliminary results of the elections in Kosovo showed that prime minister Thaci won with 32.4 percent. The Democratic League of Kosovo won 24.6 percent, while the Self-Determination Movement won 12.55 percent.
Voting was repeated in 6 municipalities.
23 Jan 2011 - KFOR handed over control of a sector of the border with Macedonia to Kosovo Border Police at a special ceremony. Outgoing Kosovo Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi voiced confidence that the transfer will boost co-operation with Macedonia in fighting crime.
Source: SE Times.
21 Jan 2011 - Serbia has asked Bosnia to extradite Croatian national Tihomir Purda, wanted on a war crimes indictment. Purda has been in custody since January 5, when he was arrested based on a warrant issued by Serbia. n 2007, Serbia issued a warrant for the arrest of Purda and two other Croats on suspicion that they shot at wounded JNA soldiers in 1991 and killed two of them, while the third died in a hospital. According to reports, the Croatian authorities knew about the warrant but did not act on it.
19 Jan 2011 - Dick Marty, Rapporteur of the Council of Europe, said his report does not directly claim that Kosovo prime minister Hashim Thaci was directly involved in organ trafficking. But he said it is hard to believe he had no knowledge of it.
08 Jan 2011 - EULEX has wrapped up hearings into alleged organ-trafficking in Kosovo. In two weeks it will be decided whether to bring seven suspects to trial, including an Israeli organizer and a Turkish doctor.
The charges revolve around the Medicus Clinic in Pristina, which was shut down in 2008 after a police probe was launched when a young Turkish citizen collapsed at the airport after having a kidney removed for a transplant to an Israeli citizen.
Among the suspects is a former health secretary who had issued a licence to the clinic although Kosovo law forbids organ transplants.
08 Jan 2011 - EULEX prosecutors have charged two former top Kosovo Albanian guerrillas with war crimes during the 1998-99 conflict: former commander of the military police for the guerrilla Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Sabit Geci, and Riza Alija.
The indictment said that KLA camps in the northern towns of Kukes and Cahan were intended for logistics and training but were actually used as detention camps for captured civilians. Detainees were regularly mistreated.
22 Dec 2010 - By a vote of 14 to none, with Russia abstaining, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1996, establishing the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT). The new body will finish remaing tasks after the mandates of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) complete their mandates.
The branch for Yugoslavia will commence in 2013 and will finalize the work of the ICTY after its operations will end in December 2014.
18 Dec 2010 - The draft report on alleged organ trafficking presented by Council of Europe Rapporteur Dick Marty implicated Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci. The report has been welcomed by former ICTY chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte. She raised the issue of organ smuggling in her 2008 book The Hunt. ICTY has always said it had not received any evidence to substantiate her claims, despite investigations by ICTY and UNMIK.
Former UNMIK chief Bernard Kouchner denied that the organ trafficking was known while he was in Kosovo. "We never heard of the organ trade during the time I was in Kosovo, and that’s from 1999 until 2001. The first time I heard of it was when Carla Del Ponte published her book. And I was very surprised," he told BBC.
Australian analyst Whit Mason said
17 Dec 2010 - The Kosovo Central Election Commission (CEC) announced that election results of 21 poll stations in 5 municipalities will be annulled due to irregularities during the elections December 12. The polls will be repeated January 9.
Interim results show that Hashim Thaci's Democratic Party of Kosovo won the most votes.
15 Dec 2010 - EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has urged investigator Dick Marty (Council of Europe) to present any evidence that would link Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci to a crime ring involved with organ trafficking.
EULEX deputy chief Andy Sparkes indicated he would study Marty's report on inhuman treatment of prisoners and organ trafficking.