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EU prosecutor starts trafficking probe in Albania

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EU prosecutor starts trafficking probe in Albania


(TIRANA) - An EU-appointed prosecutor probing alleged organ trafficking from Kosovo in late 1990s has launched an investigation in Albania, a government official said Thursday.

The US prosecutor John Clint Williamson met Prime Minister Sali Berisha and public prosecutor Ina Rama, according to the source who asked not to be named.

The visit, details of which were not publicly revealed, will continue Friday.

The EU mission in Kosovo (EULEX) in June set up a task force to open a preliminary investigation into a Council of Europe report.

The task force is composed of prosecutors and investigators and led by Williamson, who is based in Brussels for the probe.

Last year, Council of Europe rapporteur Dick Marty alleged that senior commanders of the rebel ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), including Kosovo prime minister Hashim Thaci, were involved in organised crime and organ trafficking during and after the 1998-1999 war with Serbian forces.

The report set out allegations that organs had been taken from the bodies of prisoners, many of them Serbs, held by the KLA in Albania in the late 1990s. Both Kosovo and Albania denied the accusations and rejected the report.

Tirana has said it was open for any investigation on its territory and declared its readiness to contribute the probe that would lead to the truth, considering the accusations "false."

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