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Prosecutor at OSCE Permanent Council Urging End to War Crime Impunity Gap



Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 7 September 2006


The Tribunal's Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, today addressed the Permanent Council of the OSCE, using the opportunity to stress the importance of the continuing cooperation between the trans-Atlantic body and the ICTY.

Chief among the issues raised was her proposal for further efforts to deal with the impunity gap that refers to war crimes which can neither be prosecuted at the ICTY due to the completion strategy nor by the judiciaries in the states of former Yugoslavia due to legislative obstacles such as the ban on the extradition of nationals.

The Prosecutor suggested that, in order to close the impunity gap, it is necessary to have the political will to change relevant pieces of legislation so as to allow for the extradition of nationals and, or, the transfer of all proceedings without limitations. In this regard she referred to the recently introduced European Arrest Warrants which enable EU member-states to extradite
their nationals to other EU States if they have committed crimes there. Del Ponte further proposed additional steps which may be taken by the OSCE and the countries concerned together with the European Commission and the Council of Europe to raise awareness of the concrete problems associated with the impunity gap.

Finally, having informed the members of the Permanent Council of the OSCE of the current status of ICTY cases and trials, the Prosecutor highlighted the invaluable assistance of the OSCE in fighting impunity through training, monitoring local trials and fostering inter-State cooperation in the Western Balkans.

The full text of the Prosecutor's address can be found at: http://www.un.org/icty/pressreal/2006/p1106e-CDPspeech.htm.


Courtroom proceedings can be followed on the Tribunal's website at www.un.org/icty.