Prime Minister of Kosovo Accused of Leading a Heroin and Organ-Stealing Ring

Hashim Thaçi, the prime minister of Kosovo, runs a criminal gang that "smuggl[es]weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe," according to a forthcoming report from the Council of Europe.

Thaçi was a leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army in the late 1990s—when he earned the nom de guerre "the Snake"—and became the head of Kosovo's government in 2007. He won reelection last weekend. While accusations that Thaçi runs a criminal network are by no means new, the Council of Europe report, which was obtained by the Guardian, has some stunning details. Like the Serbian prisoners of war who were murdered for their kidneys:

It finds the KLA did hold mostly Serb captives in a secret network of six detention facilities in northern Albania, and that Thaçi's Drenica group "bear the greatest responsibility" for prisons and the fate of those held in them.

They include a "handful" of prisoners said to have been transferred to a makeshift prison just north of Tirana, where they were killed for their kidneys.

The report states: "As and when the transplant surgeons were confirmed to be in position and ready to operate, the captives were brought out of the 'safe house' individually, summarily executed by a KLA gunman, and their corpses transported swiftly to the operating clinic."

It also accuses Thaçi and his cohorts, which the report characterizes as essentially criminal gang that took over the KLA a decade ago, of exerting "violent control" over Eastern Europe's heroin trade and conducting "assassinations, detentions, beatings and interrogations." The Albanian government has denounced the report as "despicable and bizarre."