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Organ traffickers found guilty in landmark EU-Kosovo decision

Five doctors have been sentenced to jail for illegally harvesting and trafficking human organs.

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John Clint Williamson, the 51-year-old American at the head of the European Union investigation into one of the most gruesome and politically sensitive affairs of the times — allegations of organ trafficking in the 1990s implicating Kosovo's current leadership — arrives at EU headquarters in Brussels. Five doctors have been found guilty; the two politicians were acquitted. (Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images)

Five doctors have been sentenced to jail by an EU-Kosovo court for illegally harvesting and trafficking human organs. 

The panel of two European Union judges and one Kosovo judge sentenced Urologist Lutfi Dervishi to eight years in prison for "organized crime and human trafficking," the judge said in the verdict; his son Arban Dervishi got seven years and three months. 

Three others were given between one and three years in prison.

The doctors were found guilty of recruiting people from Eastern Europe and Asia to their Medicus Clinic in Pristina, promising them 15,000 euros ($19,630) for their organs. 

Former Kosovo health minister Ilir Rrecaj — who admitted during the trial that he knew that illegal kidney transplants were carried out at the Medicus clinic in 2008, but denied covering them up — was acquitted, as was another government official. 

The EU helps prosecute sensitive cases with Kosovo since the country seceded from Serbia in 2008. The organ trafficking case began in 2011. 

More from GlobalPost: Trial starts in 'kidney for iPad' organ trafficking case

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/130429/organ-traffickers-guilty-eu-kosovo-case