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Del Ponte takes over as chief war crimes prosecutor

Swiss Federal Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte Wednesday took up her new post as head of the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague. Top of her agenda will be the prosecution of those who committed war crimes in the Balkans.

This content was published on September 15, 1999 - 09:41

Swiss Federal Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte Wednesday took up her new post as head of the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague. Top of her agenda will be the prosecution of those who committed war crimes in the Balkans.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously appointed Del Ponte in August as the new head of the U.N. war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

In her new job, Del Ponte will inherit a court that has issued 65 public indictments and has more than two dozen people in custody for alleged ethnic atrocities in the former Yugoslavia since 1991.

Many leading figures indicted by the court remain at large, including Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and four of his top aides and wartime Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Gen. Ratko Mladic.

Del Ponte will also head the tribunal investigating the Rwandan mass killings in 1994, when at least half a million people were systematically slaughtered.

Del Ponte's official title is prosecutor of the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991.

Under the statute of the International Tribunal for Rwanda, the prosecutor of the Yugoslav tribunal also serves as prosecutor of the Rwanda tribunal.


From staff and wire reports.

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