Why Hasim Thaci may escape trial?
Pyotr ISKENDEROV | 31.01.2011 | OPINION

Why Hasim Thaci may escape trial?

A resolution 'On inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking of human organs in Kosovo' adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) turned to be an ambiguous document. On the one hand, it is based on a report by a Swiss rapporteur Dick Marty. The resolution calls for a more active international and local investigation into illicit organ trafficking activities, corruption and conspiracy between organized criminal groups and politicians. The document also unveils cooperation between Albania and Kosovo while carrying out the aforesaid crimes. The report demands that Tirana and Pristina launch a thorough and independent investigation into secret detention centers where ethnic Serbs and Albanian Kosovars had been secretly imprisoned by the group in northern Albania "and were subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment, before ultimately disappearing." Despite the fact that Albanian authorities led by Prime Minister Sali Berisha and international organization had been trying to conceal any evidence proving Tirana`s involvement in crimes taking place in Kosovo, the resolution proves that such crimes did take place on Albanian land as well.

The voting on the resolution is worth mentioning. It was backed by the majority of the votes -169, with eight 'against' and 14 'abstaining'. It means that the document was approved by both supporters of Kosovo`s self-proclaimed independence and those opposing it. Among those who voted against were mainly deputies representing Albania, Turkey and Georgia. Kosovo`s Education Minister Enver Hoxhaj, who was in Strasbourg during the voting, described the decision as 'a step which harms Kosovo'.

Probably, the only issue from Dick Marty`s report which was not properly mentioned in the PACE resolution, is a part played in the story by Kosovo`s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci. Marty describes Thaci as the boss of a 'mafia-like' Drenica group. But shortly before the debates Marty told journalists in Kosovo that he did not directly accuse Thaci of organ trafficking. “If you read my report attentively, you`ll find there no words accusing Mr. Thaci of participating in the trafficking of human organs. But many people close to him did, and it is difficult to believe that Mr. Thaci was unaware of it”, Dick Marty said.

The Guardian” cited leaked NATO military documents saying that Western powers considered Thaci one of the “biggest fish” in Kosovo`s organized crime. The Nato documents, which are marked "Secret", indicate that the US and other western powers backing Kosovo's government have had extensive knowledge of its criminal connections for several years (1).

The question arises as what chances are to solve all these crimes? PACE deputies have placed responsibility on the EU`s rule-of-law mission in Pristina, which cannot be considered an unbiased institution. The mission is said to have been formed to contribute to Kosovo`s self-proclaimed independence and is opposed to Kosovan Serbs who allegedly are not eager to cooperate with Pristina. The PACE resolution turned to be a 'copy' of the statement made by the EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who recalled that eighteen attorneys and about forty judges from the EU and the US were have been working in Kosovo, and they all are highly qualified. Their qualification is really beyond concern, but as far as their objective approach to the issue is concerned, there is nothing we could add to what the article in The Guardian says.

PACE deputies urged for greater assistance to the EU`s mission in the investigation but still this does not seem to be enough unless the West stops its unilateral support of Kosovo`s separatism. NATO, which backs the regime in Pristina, was the first to respond. However, the alliance has only promised to carry out an internal investigation on the leaks used by The Guardian.

It is evident that as far as the crimes in Kosovo are concerned, the West pursues one aim: not to spoil the whole 'Kosovo project' that cost them billions of euro.That is why is it likely that some Kosovan officials may appear on a show trial but not to the detriment of Kosovo`s image of a democratic state. Because recognizing Hashim Thaci and his associates as culprits would mean to admit that Kosovo is ruled by criminals and the West turns a blind eye on this.

Tags: Kosovo  Serbia 

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