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].