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Kosovo organ trafficking suspect arrested

Moshe Harel was arrested in connection with the organ trafficking operation in Kosovo during the 1998-1999 Kosovo War [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] the European Union Rule of Law Mission to Kosovo (EULEX) [official website] said Friday. A report [text] authored by Council of Europe (COE) [official website] member Dick Marty [BBC profile] details how criminals harvested the organs of civilian detainees killed on Albanian territory near the Albania-Kosovo border and sold the organs on the black market for overseas transplants. Harel was arrested in Israel [Reuters report] along with several other suspects.

This organ trafficking scandal has been receiving more attention after Marty's report implicated [JURIST report] Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci [official profile] in the scheme. Since then, an EU prosecutor began investigating organ trafficking in Albania [JURIST report] in October 2011. In August of that year a US prosecutor began investigating Thaci's role in the scandal [JURIST report]. In February 2011 UN Special Representative to Kosovo Lamberto Zannier requested [JURIST report] that the UN Security Council [official website] open an independent investigation into alleged incidents of organ trafficking. That January, the COE also demanded that Albania and Kosovo investigate the claims [JURIST report].

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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