Former UN prosecutor says CIA prevented Serb war criminals’ arrest
January 25, 2009 2 Comments
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Observers of the most recent Balkan Wars in the former Yugoslavia will remember Carla Del Ponte, who was the United Nations’ Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Ms. Del Ponte, who is now Switzerland’s Ambassador to Argentina, has always regretted the UN’s failure to arrest during her ICTY tenure wanted Serb war criminals Radovan Karadzic (who was eventually captured in 2008 ) and General Ratko Mladic. She relays these regrets in her new book, Madame Prosecutor, which was published on January 20 by Other Press. Interestingly, the book has been essentially ignored by the mainstream Western media. A single review was published on January 22 in The Economist. Amazingly, the British journal, which is known for its attention to detail, omitted one stunning revelation in Ms. Del Ponte’s book. Namely that, during her ICTY tenure, the UN’s hunt for Karadzic and Mladic was actually obstructed by the CIA and by its then Director George Tenet. Specifically, the former UN Chief Prosecutor details in her book that, in January 2004, ICTY investigators had concrete intelligence on a Belgrade apartment address where Karadzic resided. Furthermore, UN prosecutors had been assured by members of Serbia’s government that the fugitive war criminal would be extradited to The Hague if arrested. However, Ms. Del Ponte claims that “the Americans intervened and stopped the action”. She also alleges that General Mladic has struck a deal with, and is hiding under the protection of, the French intelligence services and that France’s former President Jacques Chirac has repeatedly intervened to prevent Mladic’s arrest. Close observers may recall that, in 2007, another former ICTY official, Florence Hartmann, alleged that the CIA, as well as Russian and German intelligence routinely shielded Radovan Karadzic from arrest. She also alleged that Germany’s former Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, confided to Ms. Del Ponte that, according to a report by the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s foreign intelligence service, Karadzic actually held a secret meeting in 2004 with Lord Paddy Ashdown, who was at that time International High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.