A court on Thursday jailed two Kosovo doctors for harvesting kidneys and selling the organs to wealthy patients for up to 100,000 euros each.
Urologist Lutfi Dervishi and anaesthetist Sokol Hajdini performed surgery on kidney donors brought to Kosovo mainly from Turkey, Russia, Moldova and Kazakhstan. Their kidneys were harvested and sold on to patients, mainly Israelis. The donors were paid just 15,000 euros each.
Dervishi and Hajdini were found guilty of “trafficking in persons”, the court in Pristina said in a statement, adding that Dervishi was jailed for seven-and-a-half years and fined 8,000 euros ($9,300). Hajdini was jailed for one year.
The court heard the two doctors worked together at the Medicus clinic in Pristina in 2008. Dervishi’s son Arban, who also worked at the clinic, was charged in the case but is currently on the run. The court also banned Dervishi from practising medicine for two years.
Cyprus Arrests Kosovo Organ-Trafficking Suspect – Moshe Harel, an Israeli citizen accused of being involved in organ-trafficking from Kosovo’s Medicus clinic in 2008, was arrested in Cyprus after years of being listed as wanted by Interpol. https://t.co/AlVPGUunpn
— Balkan Insight (@BalkanInsight) January 7, 2018
The Dervishis and Hajdini were initially convicted in 2013, but the Supreme Court overturned the verdict on a procedural matter and ordered a retrial.
Police raided the Medicus clinic in 2008 after a Turkish man, whose kidney had been removed, collapsed at Pristina airport as he waited for a flight back to Istanbul.
Another suspect, Israeli citizen Moshe Harel, was arrested in Cyprus on an Interpol warrant in January after several years in hiding. Kosovo has requested his extradition.
A Turkish doctor Yusuf Sonmez, currently believed to be in Turkey, is also a suspect in the case.