PRISTINA, (Reuters) – Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci rejected a European report accusing him of heading a mafia-style organisation and said yesterday he would use all political and legal means to bring the truth to light.
Calling a report by Council of Europe rapporteur Dick Marty slanderous and full of lies, Thaci called on Marty to present the facts if he had any. The report accused him of heading a crime ring involved in drug, gun and organ trafficking.
“I will use my political and legal capacities to bring the truth to light,” Thaci, in his first remarks since the report was made public two days ago, told a news conference in Pristina. “These acts are done to damage the image of Kosovo.”
“As a prime minister of the republic of Kosovo, as a citizen and as a parent, I am insulted by the baseless accusations of Dick Marty against me, my comrades, the KLA (wartime guerrilla army), against the state of Kosovo and my people.”
Swiss senator Marty said the report should spur a formal investigation and set in motion a “dynamic of truth”. He acknowledged there was a scarcity of physical evidence but said it would be the task of judicial investigators to unearth this.
“I think we have delivered enough material to justify finally an investigation which goes deeper, is more serious and independent and, above all, creates the conditions for witnesses to speak,” Marty told a news conference in Paris.
This report “can set in motion a dynamic of truth and that could really change things… We cannot continue with these suspicions”, he said after a meeting at the Council of Europe office in Paris.
Marty’s report accuses Thaci of being the boss of an organised crime ring during the Kosovo Albanian guerrilla war against Serbia in the late 1990s that assassinated opponents, trafficked in drugs and organs harvested from murdered Serbs and committed other crimes.
During that fight, the bloody wave of ethnic cleansing by Serbian troops took centre stage, with 10,000 ethnic Albanians losing their lives. Marty acknowledged that, but quotes witnesses as saying the Albanians were no saints.