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Israeli suspect in Kosovo organ trafficking arrested
Published Friday 25/05/2012 (updated) 28/05/2012 12:16
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Image still from an Israel Channel 2 report on organ harvesting in the 1950s
(MaanImages)
PRISTINA (Reuters) -- A suspect in a human organ trafficking scandal that came to light in Kosovo in 2008 has been arrested in Israel, the European Union's police and justice mission in the Balkan country said on Friday.

Moshe Harel was arrested along with several other people in connection with a parallel investigation in Israel, said the mission, known as EULEX.

Police in Kosovo accuse Israeli Harel of seeking out people in need of kidney transplants and luring donors to Kosovo from Turkey and the poorer countries of the former Soviet Union with the promise of 15,000 euros ($20,000) in payment. It is not known whether they received the money.

The organs were then sold on for between 80,000 and 100,000 euros ($100,000-$125,000).

The scandal came to light in 2008 when a Turkish man was stopped at Pristina airport, visibly in pain having had his kidney removed.

The trafficking ring acted out of the Medicus clinic on a residential road on the outskirts of Kosovo's capital Pristina. Clinic owner Lutfi Dervishi, his son and five others are standing trial in the city on charges of trafficking human organs.

An Interpol warrant has also been issued for a Turkish surgeon, Yusuf Ercin Sonmez.

"Harel is a key suspect in a separate, but parallel, investigation regarding the Medicus indictment, filed in June 2011, charging him with the criminal offenses of trafficking in persons and organized crime," TELEX said in a statement on Friday.

It did not give further details or specify when he was arrested.

Local media reports in Kosovo quoted EULEX prosecutor Jonathan Ratel as saying the mission would seek Harel's extradition.

Attention over the trafficking allegations has grown since Council of Europe envoy Dick Marty in 2010 accused Kosovo Albanian guerrilla fighters of harvesting organs from captives, mainly Serbs, during the 1998-99 Kosovo war.
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1 ) US TAXPAYER / US
26/05/2012 20:20
I wonder how many organs were harvested during the Kosovo genoside that Bill Clinton let happen ?...

2 ) sylviauk / uk
26/05/2012 21:34
Are there NO depths to which Israelis will not stoop?

3 ) Robby / USA
27/05/2012 20:43
2 ) sylviauk / uk - Despite the dramatic headline that points an Israeli was involved, the article also mentions several other people and Turkish doctor. The Turkish doctor seems to have a list of charges against him, including human trafficking. Why doesn't your criticism include those people as well?

4 ) Alice / France/Palestine
28/05/2012 12:51
@sylviauk: Comments like yours only hurt the Palestinian cause (which I assume you support). There are organ traffickers of all nationalities. This is a criminal matter involving a despicable individual - and many others - that has nothing to do - at all - with Israeli Human Rights violations regarding the Palestinians. Please do not give ammo to all those out there who like to pain the struggle for justice for Palestine as a mere smear-campaign by people who just hate Israelis for no reason.

5 ) Robby / USA
28/05/2012 16:59
4 ) Alice / France/Palestine - well said, the headlines is another example. The article states other people are involved, including a Turkish doctor, but the headlines only mentions an Israeli. While it is factually true it is obviously slanted.

6 ) Maureen / Australia
29/05/2012 01:53
5) Take note, "THE suspected mastermind behind an organ trafficking network has been arrested in Israel." Read more: http://www.news.com.au/world/organ-trafficking-kingpin-caught/story-fn6sb9br-1226367556394#ixzz1wCvO3qjf The Israeli is the alleged mastermind!

7 ) Robby / USA
29/05/2012 16:48
6 ) Maureen / Australia - This article was printed earlier and makes no claim of a "mastermind", yet still puts "Israeli" in the headlines.

8 ) Maureen / Australia
30/05/2012 22:11
7) Robby, the "Israeli" was also put in the headlines in an Israeli newspaper, Haaretz 2010! re - "Israeli involved in Kosovo organ trafficking case on run from Interpol" Moshe Harel, an Israeli of Turkish descent, is suspected of being at the center of a network of organ traffickers in Kosovo. By Danna Harman | Dec.20, 2010 http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israeli-involved-in-kosovo-organ-trafficking-case-on-run-from-interpol-1.331544

9 ) Robby / USA
31/05/2012 07:54
8 ) Maureen / Australia - So you are saying Maan should use Haaretz for its standards in journalism? If so than it should also start printing the Israeli view on who attacks who in settler/Palestinian attacks? BTW - that article you pointed to was specifically about the Israeli, this article is about the Israeli, the clinic owner plus 5 sons, and a Turkish doctor. And it got the desired response, Sylvia blames the "Israelis" even though there were several others involved.

10 ) Maureen / Australia
01/06/2012 03:02
9) Robby/USA - Maan is a reputable newspaper with its own high standards of journalism! BTW - why are you being so defensive of the Israeli, who allegedly sought out people in need of transplants and lured donors to Kosovo, including those from the poorer countries of the former Soviet Union... if I were a Palestinian living under the oppressive mantle of the Zionist occupation, I would want to know of any Israeli suspected of preying on vulnerable people re organ trafficking... Abu Kabir, Hiss.

11 ) IVAN / RUSSIA
01/06/2012 10:49
MY ZIONIST "TRAINEE DIPLOMATS" TRY HARDER !!!!!!!!!

12 ) Robby / USA
04/06/2012 00:03
10 ) Maureen / Australia - I am not defensive about Israel, criminal are criminals. There is zero indication he did these things because he is an Israeli any more than there is proof his partner did it because he was a Turk. Read #2's response and you see the reaction. Maan may be reputable, but it does cater to the Palestinian side by the articles and content it choose to print. This is not meant as an attack, papers on all sides do it, but that doesn't make it right.

13 ) Maureen / Australia
05/06/2012 23:48
12) Robby/USA, you are right, criminals are criminals. You may care to read: "Kosovo organ donor ring: the Israeli connection Most international trafficking rings have involved wealthy Israeli patients on 'transplant tours'" http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/17/kosovo-organ-donor-ring-israel BTW, speaking of criminals, what is the present status of Israel's extradition laws regarding its own citizens?
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