WikiLeaks partners with Russian paper for Kremlin corruption dump

As promised,  WikiLeaks appears to be about to begin releasing information on Russian government corruption, and they're teaming up with Novaya Gazeta, a rare Russian newspaper known for its critical coverage and investigative reporting:

“Assange said that Russians will soon find out a lot about their country and he wasn’t bluffing,” Novaya Gazeta said. “Our collaboration will expose corruption at the top tiers of political power. No one is protected from the truth.”

The weekly newspaper is known in an industry dominated by state-run companies for its critical reports of the Kremlin and investigative coverage of Russian affairs.

Novaya Gazeta correspondent Anna Politkovskaya, who wrote about graft under then-President Vladimir Putin and chronicled abuses by military forces in Chechnya, was shot dead in her Moscow apartment building in 2006, on Putin’s birthday.

Novaya Gazeta received unlimited access to the WikiLeaks database, which has a “wide range” of materials, including documents about Politkovskaya’s murder as well as information about Russian politicians’ ties to organized crime, Nadezhda Prusenkova, a Novaya Gazeta spokeswoman, said by phone from Moscow. The newspaper will start releasing materials next month.

In other WikiLeaks new, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has, by unkown means, obtained access to the full Cablegate archive. There's also some confusion over just what WikiLeaks has on Bank of America. 


Kosovo PM vows to fight organ trafficking allegations

Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci has vowed to set up an independent investigation into the allegations by the Council of Europe that he was complicit in the murder of Serb prisoners for their kidneys, in order to "dispel the mist". He has dismissed the recently released report by Swiss Prosecutor Dick Mary as a politically motivated "pure fabrication": 

Thaci said he is looking into all legal and political possibilities to correct what he sees as the report's inaccuracies. It was not immediately clear what action he planned to take.

"It is a lie for which Dick Marty will be accountable," the prime minister said of the author of the draft report.

Serbia, unsurprisingly, is calling for an international investigation of the allegations.  Former International Criminatl Tribunal for Yugoslavia prosecutor Carla del Ponte, who had made similar allegations against Thaci years ago, also said this week that she feels vindicated by the new report. On the other hand, the allegations are unlikely to have too much of an impact within Kosovo itself,  where Marty is well-known as an opponent of Kosovo indepdendence. 

The organ-smuggling allegations are just one part of Marty's full report, but have unsurprisingly received the most attention because, well, they're disgusting. But it seeems like they may be the hardest to prove of the allegations against Thaci, which include weapons and drug smuggling and the intimidation of his political opponents by allies in the Kosovar underworld. It would be unfortunate if failure to substantiate the most salacious charges against Thaci distracted from efforts to investigate more humdrum types of corruption in Europe's newest country.