Serbia war crimes prosecutor investigating alleged organ trafficking

Serbia war crimes prosecutor investigating alleged organ trafficking

[JURIST] The Office of Serbia's War Crimes Prosecutor [official website] said Friday that it is investigating "informal statements" it has received from investigators at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] that dozens of imprisoned Serbs were killed by Albanian rebels in 1999 so that their organs could be used in an international trafficking operation. Former ICTY chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] will reportedly release a book in early April alleging approximately 300 Serbs were killed for organ trafficking. In discussions in The Hague on Thursday [press release], current ICTY chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz [official profile] and the Serbian delegation focused on the importance of cooperation among the states in ongoing efforts to bring fugitives to justice but the ICTY has not commented officially on the alleged organ trafficking. AP has more.

Brammertz took over the court's leadership in January, saying that he would continue his predecessor's tough stance on Serbian cooperation [JURIST report] with the tribunal. During her tenure as chief prosecutor, Del Ponte often criticized Serbia for its apparent reluctance to cooperate with the ICTY. The EU has made Serbia's cooperation with the ICTY a key element of its membership negotiations [EU accession materials].