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Serbia to Insist on U.N. Probe Into Organ Harvesting in Kosovo

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Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia wants a U.N.-mandated investigation into the alleged murder of ethnic-Serb captives by organ traffickers during the Kosovo conflict, Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said.

The Balkan nation has faced resistance in its efforts to investigate killings described in a report by the 47-nation Council of Europe, Jeremic said at a conference in Belgrade today, without specifying the obstacles. Only the United Nations Security Council can give “a universal mandate” and adequate jurisdiction for a full probe, he said.

“Fostering international support for a genuinely impartial and transparent criminal investigation into allegations of the harvesting and smuggling of human organs” in the 1998-1999 war is among Serbia’s foreign policy priorities, Jeremic said.

Several dozen Serbs were allegedly murdered for their organs that were sold on the international black market, according to the report that also implicated Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, a guerilla leader at the time of the conflict. Thaci has refuted the allegations.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net