Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci has dismissed a report suggesting he was the head of a criminal gang behind a grisly trade in the kidneys of slain civilian detainees.
Thaci, who made his first public appearance since the publication of the report by Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty, said the allegations were aimed at damaging Kosovo's image internationally.
In an address broadcast live on Kosovo's public television, the former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army said he felt "deeply offended" by the allegations "as prime minister, citizen of Kosovo and a father."
Dick Marty, a Swiss senator, said that "inhuman" treatment of people and illicit trafficking of human organs in the immediate aftermath of the country's war for independence from Serbia remained unpunished.
Marty's report, made public on Tuesday, alleged that civilian detainees of the KLA rebels were shot and killed to sell their kidneys on the black market and suggested that Thaci was once the "boss" of a criminal underworld behind the trafficking.