The Basic Court in Pristina has on Thursday convicted urologist Lutfi Dervishi, owner of the Medicus clinic, and anaesthetist Sokol Hajdini, after they were found guilty of carrying out illegal transplant of kidneys.
Dervishi was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison and he also cannot exercise his profession for two years after his prison term ends, while Hajdini has been sentenced to one year in prison. The court found them guilty of human trafficking and organised crime. According to the indictment the Medicus clinic managed by Dervishi and his son is believed to have carried out at least 23 kidney transplants in 2008 for which buyers, many from Israel, paid 80,000-100,000 euros. Prosecutors proved that all donors were poor and that their health deteriorated after the surgeries. Organ transplants are illegal in Kosovo.
Dervishi and Hajdini were initially convicted in 2013, and Kosovo’s appeals court confirmed their convictions in March 2016, jailing Lutfi Dervishi and his son for eight years and Hajdini for five. But a Supreme Court ruling overturned the original verdict on the basis of procedural irregularities and their retrial started in July 2017. Police initially raided the Medicus clinic in 2008 after a Turkish man whose kidney had been removed was found seriously ill at Pristina airport. Investigators closed down the Medicus clinic in 2008, and it has since been sold.