Kosovo PM denies “mafia-style” crime allegations

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.” 
 

Hashim Thaci

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.

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