Kosovo: Europe’s Mafia State and the Rule of Law

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Kosovo: Europe's Mafia State and the Rule of Law

The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) headquartered in Pristina was set up in December, 2008 and opened on April 6, 2009. Its stated objectives included assistance to Kosovo’s authorities, legal institutions and judiciary aimed at forming and strengthening the province’s multi-ethnic legal system and law-enforcement agencies.

The EULEX priority tasks were to fight war crimes, corruption, organized crime, inter-ethnic crimes, money laundering, and terrorism as well as to help resolve various proprietary disputes. Therefore, one might expect EULEX to regard the crimes described in the now-famous Dick Marty’s report to the Council of Europe as belonging to its responsibility sphere. The report based on the investigation of the disappearance of some 500 people in Kosovo since the end of the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia contained data on the existence of a network of detention facilities operated by the Kosovo Liberation Army, the illicit extraction and trafficking of human organs, and the key role played by Kosovo’s outgoing premier Hashim Thaci in organized crime in the province. The revelations about atrocities like forced extractions of organs caused a storm across the global media but, oddly enough, EULEX stated on December 21, 2010 that it would not investigate human organ trafficking in Kosovo as not belonging to the EULEX jurisdiction.

Considering that it is up to Washington to decide where the jurisdiction of EU institutions ends in Kosovo, the truth must be that all the EU is allowed to assist in is implementing the US strategy in the region, which at the moment is centered around dismantling the delimitation line between Kosovo’s Albanian-populated south and Serb-populated north.

EULEX officials shy away from commenting on Marty’s report. Moreover, it transpired recently that even they are defenseless in Kosovo as EULEX Police Head of Executive Department James Albrecht who was charged with the mission of investigating the organized crime network in the province came under attack. Visiting Moscow on December 21, Marty spoke about the lack of protection provided to the international justice officers and witnesses. He said court hearings are typically hard to organize given that even the Hague Tribunal was under permanent external pressure and people are too intimidated to trust national and international institutions alike. The trial of Ramush Haradinaj by the international Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was a vivid example of the situation: the prosecution witnesses never testified in court simply because all of them had been killed before the hearings opened. Marty said potential witnesses cannot present their testimonies because nobody is able to guarantee their safety.

There is information that, concerned over its own safety, the EULEX top brass considers leaving the heavily criminalized Pristina. As for Europe, it is already paying the price for complicity in building a criminal enclave in Kosovo. While the infantile EU propaganda is touting the “multi-ethnic and democratic Kosovo”, Interpol reports reflect the penetration of EU countries by the Albanian organized crime, Kosovo’s emergence as the key drug trafficking hub, and the increasing seizure of the European drug market by the Albanian mafia.

News resurfaced last December that some 400 DNA samples taken from crime victims in Kosovo in 1999 by the German police on the Hague Tribunal’s request were destroyed. Reportedly, every Kosovo Liberation Army division in Kosovo and Metohija as well as in Albania maintained its own secret prisons where Serbs, Gypsies, Bosnians, Bulgarians, Romanians, Ukrainians, and other nationals were held (even former Albanian president Sali Berisha’s ranch was converted into a prison). In other words, many of the facts unearthed by Marty did not come as a total surprise. A Serbian court charged Hashim Thaci with killing 661 Serbs and other non-Albanians, crippling 518 people, and kidnapping 584. Charges against Thaci also include the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Serbs from Kosovo since the advent of KFOR. In 2001, Serbia submitted to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia a 40,000 page report with evidence implicating Kosovo’s Thaci-Ceku-Haradinaj permanent triumvirate. The total number of pages in Serbia’s materials on crimes against Serbs supplied to the Tribunal almost reached 200,000.

Serbia’s prosecutor for war crimes V. Vukevic investigated the genocide charges against former Kosovo Liberation Army commanders Thaci, Ceku, and Haradinaj in 2001, and Serbia’s then-minister of justice V. Batic provided the resulting evidence to head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo Harri Holkeri. A letter to Holkeri which became available to the media said the crimes against Serbs described in the report were the worst atrocities since World War II. The materials described over 7,000 proven cases of terrorist attacks which led to over 12,000 deaths, 1,350 injuries, almost 1,000 kidnappings, 340,000 expulsions of non-Albanians, the burning of 107,000 residences, and the killing of 70 children. Some of the victims were ritually beheaded and detention camps to hold Serbs were set up. The “international community” promptly intervened and had the investigation suspended.

US and NATO servicemen fully share the responsibility for the crimes. They bombed Yugoslavia for 78 days and then helped cover up the repressions against its civilian population. Nor did the UN officials put to work at the due time the documents shedding light on the existence of secret detention facilities in the northern and central parts of Albania. The “international community” found no way to protect the lives and the rights of Serbs, other non-Albanians, and even, in some cases, Albanians in Kosovo. For over 6 years, the UN has been conducting a sluggish investigation into the tortures and killings at secret Kosovo Liberation Army bases and Albanian prisons. A Peruvian anthropologist and chief of the UN unit investigating the disappearances of people claims that already in 2003 the UN was fully aware of what was happening.

The US geopolitical objectives in the Balkan region are being put into practice based on the cooperation in the framework of the Washington-Tirana-Pristina triangle. Former OSCE mission head W. Walker (who, by the way, had been granted an honorary Albanian citizenship) expressed the view that the people of Kosovo and Albania have serious reasons to consider common future. In Kosovo, Walker supports the Self-Determination movement which advocates the plan for a Greater Albania and criticizes EULEX over failing to gain control over the Northern part of the province for years. Europeans may be prone to hesitation, but Albanians, the time-tested warriors, are eager to fight. For example, police minister Bajram Rexhepi has been telling that his special forces are ready to enter the northern part of Kosovo since the summer of 2010. The aforementioned special forces are the south-based Kosovo Liberation Army and the paramilitary formations including Wakhabbi terrorist groups. They are ready to do what it takes to subdue Kosovo’s north. Thaci declared on December 21 that he did not take the charges against him seriously and would shortly head for the US to regain Washington’s support.

Currently we are witnessing a new tide of the information war over Kosovo. The US is exercising undivided control over the historically Serbian province jointly with the dependent local administration, and Washington is not going to abandon its long-term partner Hashim Thaci. The EU is not a significant player in Kosovo, and EULEX was created simply as a part of the Ahtisaari plan meant to strengthen the Kosovo self-proclaimed independence. Since, according to the plan, Kosovo is supposed to be indivisible, gaining control over the northern part of the province has to be its indispensable element.

Will the storm triggered by Marty’s report translate into a serious judicial investigation and lead to the punishing of Albanian war criminals – thus changing things not only in the Balkan region but also in Europe – or will the storm subside under Washington’s pressure? The inability of the EU authorities to stand up for justice promises the EU an ugly future painted in the bloody colors of the Albanian flag.

Articles by: Anna Filimonova

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