The Tribunal's Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, addressed today the UN Security Council and provided her regular assessment of the progress made on the completion strategy. In view of her announced departure at the end of her mandate in September, this was Del Ponte's last report to the Security Council in her capacity as Chief Prosecutor.
In her address, the Prosecutor outlined some of the Tribunal's main achievements and warned of some possible dangers for the future of both the ICTY itself and international justice in general. The Prosecutor pointed out that during her two terms in office, 91 accused were brought into the Tribunal's custody, 59 persons were convicted in the first instance and convictions
against 37 persons have been upheld.
She stressed, however, that four persons remain at large, in particular, Radovan Karad¾ić and Ratko Mladić, and that this fact is a permanent stain on the Tribunal's work. She added that their continuing impunity gravely undermines all efforts to bring justice to the victims and seriously affects the credibility of the Tribunal.
Carla Del Ponte also informed the Council that she has observed general progress in Serbia 's level of cooperation with the Tribunal in the past few weeks. She said that during her recent visit to Belgrade , all the officials she met expressed a clear commitment to provide all necessary assistance to locate and arrest the remaining fugitives. New structures have been put in
place aimed at centralizing all activities to achieve this aim. One such structure is the National Security Council which is chaired by the President and has already convened and reaffirmed as its priority full cooperation with the Tribunal. Moreover, in the Prosecutor's view, the recent arrests of Zdravko Tolimir and Vlastimir Ðorðević, both of which were a direct result of
Serbia 's efforts , prove that they are capable of locating and arresting fugitives. The Prosecutor also pointed out that Serbia has in the past weeks responded to most of the pending requests for documents and that her Office is currently studying the materials received. The Prosecutor concluded by saying that she hopes that Serbia will achieve full cooperation with the ICTY,
which includes the arrest and transfer of all the remaining fugitives, particularly Ratko Mladić.
In addressing the possible danger of an impunity gap, the Prosecutor also stated that numerous perpetrators could not be tried in The Hague due to the Tribunal's completion strategy and that knowledge and evidence pertaining to hundreds of other suspects has been transferred to the authorities in the region of the former Yugoslavia . She warned, however, that while there has
been some progress in domestic prosecutions, the temptation of the local governments to interfere in these processes is still very present and that the international community should remain vigilant in regards to that issue. She especially stressed the need for the OSCE to continue monitoring trials throughout the region including Croatia .
Finally, Prosecutor Del Ponte stressed that the Tribunal has made impressive achievements and credited its judges, prosecutors, registrars and staff with this success. She also thanked the Security Council for its support and expressed conviction that it will take appropriate action and provide the Tribunal with the backing needed to successfully carry out its
The full text of the Prosecutor's speech can be found on the Tribunal's website at:
In English: http://www.un.org/icty/pressreal/2007/pr1166e-annex.htm
In French: http://www.un.org/icty/pressreal/2007/pr1166f-annex.htm