UN Official: Guerrillas Killed Serb Prisoners for Organs

Former UN war crimes prosecutor alleges organ-harvesting happened during 1999 war
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2008 11:45 AM CDT
Serb forces stand on alert in a Kosovan village, 1999.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Kosovan guerrillas killed Serb prisoners and harvested their organs for profit during Balkan fighting nearly a decade ago, according to the former UN prosecutor for war crimes in Yugoslavia. Carla del Ponte alleges that guerrillas trucked 300 captured Serbs over the border to a makeshift clinic in Albania, removed their kidneys, then killed them later for other organs.

"Prisoners were aware of the fate that awaited them, and according to the source pleaded, terrified, to be killed immediately," Del Ponte writes in her new memoir. She says it was impossible to fully investigate the allegations at the time. A Balkans expert blasted the charges as "irresponsible and appalling," but Russia and Serbia are calling for a full investigation. Almost 2,000 people are still missing from the 1998-9 war.