Tuesday, July 10, 2007

From Sarajevo: Carla del Ponte

We are gathered to listen to Carla del Ponte, the Chief Prosecutor at the ICTY [International Criminal Tribunal on the former Yugoslavia). She is the one who prosecuted Milosevic.

She is a bit of a controversial figure here in BBosnia and Herzegovina. There are those who are upset with her that only Milosevic was charged and not the many others who participated in the tragedies in this country, including at Srebrenica

Some people, I learned last night when I appeared on Bosnia's leading news show, are upset because they allege that she received some documents which she used in the case against Milosevic but which she did not allow to be used in a subsequent case brought by Bosnia against Serbia for the crime of genocide. [Some people believe she cut a deal with Serbia.]

A Ph.D. student at the university here just challenged her on this. She denied that she did it. She said quite clearly that the decision about the use of the documents this was made by the judges not her.

She also made another point which I do understand. She said that they received all sorts of documents "under the table." She was quite clear that, since she did not know the source or could not be sure they were genuine, they could not be used in court.

Others are upset that Milosevic was charged but those who worked closely with him, e.g. Karadzic, were not. Again, she strongly asserted that this was a decision made by the Security Council and not by her.

I can't comment on the specifics of these issues but I can say that these issues -- including whether genocide happened in Sarajevo itself and not just in Srebrenica -- are burning matters here. People’s pain is palpable.

Talk about the here and now-ness of history.

And tomorrow we go to Srebrenica for a reburial of some of the bodies which have recently been exhumed.


Lake said...

Deborah - Radovan Karadzic has, in fact, been charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. He is on the run and the U.S. Government has offered $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.


Deborah Lipstadt said...

OF course you are right. I will correct that... He is probably living well someplace enjoying the fruits of his labor.