KLA behind deadly human kidney trade: Report

The report by Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty, more than two years in the making also suggested Kosovo's US-backed prime minister was once the "boss" of a criminal underworld behind the alleged grisly trade.

Kosovo's government branded the report as "baseless" and described it as an attempt "to tarnish the image of the Kosovo Liberation Army." In a statement, the government also accused Marty of bias and "fabrications."

Marty, a Swiss senator, led a Council of Europe team of investigators to Kosovo and Albania in 2009, following allegations of organ trafficking by the KLA published in a book by former UN War Crimes tribunal prosecutor Carla Del Ponte.

Marty is known internationally for a 2007 probe on behalf of the Council of Europe that accused 14 European governments of allowing the CIA to run secret prisons and conduct rendition flights from 2002 to 2005.

The 55-page report is an attempt to cast new light on the KLA, which received US backing in its fight to secure Kosovo's independence from Serbia in 1999. Marty says it is an attempt to unearth alleged crimes that went unpunished in the postwar period.

Marty's investigation found that there were a number of detention facilities in Albania, where both Kosovan opponents of the KLA and Serbs were allegedly held once the hostilities in Kosovo were over in 1999, including a "state-of-the-art reception centre for the organised crime of organ trafficking."

The report says the captives had their blood drawn and tested to help determine whether their organs would be suitable for transplant, and were examined "by men referred to as 'doctors"' in the towns of Rripe and Fushe-Kruje. During his 2007 trip to Albania, then-US President George W Bush visited Fushe-Kruje.

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