Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci has likened the recently leaked Council of Europe report – which accuses Thaci of leading an organized crime network smuggling everything from weapons and drugs to human organs harvested from kidnapped Serbs – to Nazi-style propaganda, and its author, Swiss Senator Dick Marty to Joseph Goebbels.
Outraged, Swiss officials said the comparison was “violent” and “offensive”, with one Swiss parliamentarian telling the daily Le Matin that the comment was “indicative of this unsavory character.”
The Swiss Foreign Ministry has called on “the countries concerned to deal with this issue responsibly and contribute to the clarification of the criticisms in the report of the Council of Europe prepared by Dick Marty”.
The report, which was prepared by Marty as the CoE’s special rapporteur, was leaked just as Thaci and his Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) won 12 December snap elections in Kosovo and claimed victory as prime minister.
The report accuses the network of killing Serb prisoners for their kidneys, among other things, and identifies Thaci as “the boss” of the network, which began operations shortly before the 1999 war in Kosovo. Among other things, the report says Thaci has had “violent control” over the heroin trade for the past decade.
The report says that Thaci’s links to organized crime began when his “Drenica Group” found itself the most influential faction with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA/UCK), and it was allegedly this position of power and influence that allowed him to seize control of criminal enterprises.
“In confidential reports spanning more than a decade, agencies dedicated to combating drug smuggling in at least five countries have named Hashim Thaci and other members of his Drenica Group as having exerted violent control over the trade in heroin and other narcotics,” the report says.