Kosovo PM interview: organ trafficking report is 'monstrous' slander
Transcript of EUobserver's interview with Kosovar PM Hashim Thaci on the subject of the Council of Europe's resolution entitled " Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo" of 12 December 2010 by Swiss politician Dick Marty.
The interview was carried out on 22 December 2010 in Albanian and translated into English by EUobserver.
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EUobserver held off on publication until 10 January 2011 while awaiting a response to interview requests from Mr Marty, Swiss diplomat Carla Del Ponte (who in 2008 wrote a book about the Yellow House, a building in Albania where organ trafficking crimes are said to have taken place) and Serb President Boris Tadic. The interview requests were declined.
EUobserver: You have qualified Dick Marty's report as a slander. When was the first time you heard about the Yellow House?
Thaci: I heard about it from the 'Yellow' media of Belgrade, and the Carla Del Ponte book.
EUobserver: What was your first reaction to it at that time?
Thaci: It was as simple as possible as a human reaction can be, as a citizen, a parent and a representative of the political authority of Kosovo, reacting to a fabricated slander and a monstrous one. A scandalous slander.
EUobserver: A key part of the whole report seems to be mention of the names of the so-called 'Drenica Group,' including your name. What was your reaction to this then and how do you respond to it now?
Thaci: The KLA [Kosovo Liberation Army] waged a just war, a war for liberation. It is known world-wide who committed genocide. The aim of the [Marty] report is the criminalisation of the war for liberation, but also the damaging of the image of the Republic of Kosovo, of preventing new recognitions of Kosovo statehood, which are to come, harming the image of Albania and harming the upcoming dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.
EUobserver: In the early reports on the Yellow House, there were no names mentioned. The Dick Marty report named names. How do you view this development?
Thaci: I think that the issue should not be personalized. It should simply be fully clarified. I have requested clarification because we, as the Kosovo state, we the people of Kosovo, have nothing to hide and the issue must be clarified. I must reiterate: this is an attempt to attack the new country of Kosovo and an attempt to prevent new recognitions of Kosovo; to hit all Albanians; to criminalise the just war of the KLA and the Kosovo people. It's a motivated attack. All the institutions, Kosovar and international ones, will work together in order to shed light on the truth once again, because the issue has already been investigated by the appropriate authorities of ICTY [the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia], Unimk [the UN peace-keeping force in Kosovo] and Eulex [the EU police mission in Kosovo]. We have nothing to hide.
EUobserver: Do you think that the report could have any impact on the upcoming Kosovo-Serbia talks?
Thaci: Of course. The worst thing that could happen to Kosovo is exactly this pamphlet directed against Kosovo and based on no facts. It's an attempt to attack the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, which is a European agenda. This pamphlet is an attack also against the USA, the EU, Nato and the UN, not only Kosovo.
EUobserver: According to you, what could be the real aim of this?
Thaci: The aim is to harm the image of Kosovo, Albania, of all Albanians, of the European agenda for Kosovo, and at the same time to damage me personally.
EUobserver: Are you trying to say that Serbia is not interested in stability in the Western Balkans?
Thaci: The anti-Kosovo club of Dick Marty, which was against Nato bombings and against making Kosovo into a country, is also against the current agenda of making Kosovo into a successful state. It's not a coincidence that the report was made public two days after Kosovo elections [of 12 december 2010], in which the Democratic Party of Kosovo [Mr Thaci's party] was the winner.
EUobserver: You have said that you will deal with Dick Marty through legal action.
Thaci: We will use all legal and political measures against this slander.
EUobserver: Have you already contacted any European or international lawyers?
Thaci: The appropriate authorities of the Republic of Kosovo are already in permanent contact [with lawyers].
EUobserver: When do you expect the lawsuit to be made and the judical process to begin?
Thaci: It depends on procedures which must be respected, not on me.
EUobserver: How do you envisage the lawsuit? Is it to be made on behalf of the Kosovo government, your personal name or the names of the six persons mentioned in Marty's report?
Thaci: The Kosovo state has been attacked. The Kosovo people have been attacked. Kosovo and Albania are under attack. That's why this issue must be fully clarified. It's a state responsibility, not an individual one.