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Organ harvest claims are investigated.

EUROPE'S top human rights watchdog is launching a probe into a chilling claim that ethnic Albanian guerrillas may have kidnapped Serb civilians, removed their organs and sold their body parts on the black market.

The kidnappings are alleged to have taken place at the end of Kosovo's 1998-99 war.

A United Nations inquiry into the issue in 2004 proved inconclusive. So did a recent investigation by The Associated Press, which obtained UN and Serbian documents detailing what was uncovered at a farmhouse in remote north-central Albania: bloodstains, syringes, empty bottles of muscle relaxant, surgical gear and other material. The family living in the house in Rripe offered a plausible explanation for everything the investigators found.

The allegations were first made public in a memoir last year by Carla Del Ponte, the former chief UN war crimes prosecutor.

Now, a probe is being led by Dick Marty, the Swiss senator who headed an investigation into claims the CIA operated secret prisons in Eastern Europe.

Serbian authorities claim to have uncovered new evidence. They say two wealthy Europeans were among the recipients of harvested organs..
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 4, 2009
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