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Parliamentary question - E-004536/2011(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by High Representative/Vice‑President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

The fight against organised crime of all kinds is a priority for EULEX Kosovo.

As the Honourable Member of Parliament will recall, the EULEX Head of Mission specifically underlined in his intervention at the European Parliament, on 15 March 2011, that a mission-wide priority is an enhanced commitment to prosecute and adjudicate key cases, particularly against organised crime and corruption.

The year 2010 has been marked by numerous sensitive and complex investigations led by EULEX prosecutors and this hard work, has already, and will continue to bring concrete results in terms of prosecution and cases brought to trial in 2011. Since the Head of Mission's intervention in the European Parliament, only four months ago, the mission has made a number of arrests in the area of war crimes, including high ranking individuals in the former Kosovo Liberation Army, arrested and convicted numerous individuals in connection with international heroin trafficking cases, made arrests in a number of organised crime cases, convicted several persons on serious corruption charges as well as sentenced a person for 10 years of imprisonment on terrorism charges.

The EULEX mission is significantly contributing to an environment where the Kosovo population is increasingly demanding that nobody should be above the law. By investigating senior ministers, politicians, senior officials, including the Governor of the Central Bank, former KLA Commanders, business men and the secret services the mission has seriously challenged the perception of impunity. The mission has also made significant strides in fighting trafficking of human beings and organs, most concretely through major cases such as the Tisza, where seven defendants were sentenced to a total of 66 years of imprisonment for smuggling of human beings, and the Medicus case (trafficking of organs), which will go to trial in October 2011.

OJ C 314 E, 27/10/2011