BBC - Crossing Continents - Kosovo organ harvesting

BBC 090409 - The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA, UCK, OVK) abducted civilians in Kosovo who were then mistreated and in some cases killed, a BBC investigation has found. Kosovo Serbs, ethnic Albanians and Roma were among an estimated 2000 who went missing, both during and after the war in Kosovo.

BBC's 'Crossing Continents' uncovers disturbing evidence of atrocities by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during and after the Kosovo War ten years ago. The headlines about the war have consistently focused on Serb war crimes against ethnic Albanians. However, after a five-year investigation, Crossing Continents can now reveal another side to the conflict which the world was not meant to see. Using documents and recorded interviews he has been gathering since 2004, reporter Michael Montgomery reveals what happened after the Nato bombing stopped and the Kosovar refugees began returning to their homes. Little has so far been established of the hundreds of Serbs and other non-Albanians who remain unaccounted for after the war. Through painstaking examination of the evidence, Michael shows for the first time how some of them met their death and where their remains could be buried. It is a story of abduction and murder, but this time most of the victims are Serbs, and the alleged perpetrators Albanian, members of the KLA. He examines how it was that many of these kidnaps and murders took place under the noses of Nato and the United Nations, who were already in Kosovo when the abductions took place.

Michael travels to Western Kosovo, and from there over the border into Albania, following the route along which it is said hundreds of kidnapped men and women were taken to die. He journeys into Northern Albania, where it is believed that Serbs and others were held at secret camps, and where they were tortured and, in many cases killed. But some might say those killed within the secret camps were the lucky ones. In the countryside a few kilometres outside the town of Burrel there is a house where in 2004 a UN forensic science team conducted a search. Michael was one of only two journalists allowed to be present during the two-day operation. The aim of the search was to seek evidence to support claims that the KLA took several dozen hostages there to have their vital organs removed for sale before they died. According to documents seen by Crossing Continents, the findings of the forensic experts were of significant interest. That view is supported in the programme in an exclusive interview with the UN's former top forensic scientist in Kosovo, who took part in the examination of the house. He supports the allegation that material from the investigation was destroyed by the UN War Crimes Tribunal.

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Frank Kitman