Former UN prosecutor says CIA prevented Serb war criminals’ arrest

Carla Del Ponte

Carla Del Ponte

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.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

2 Responses to Former UN prosecutor says CIA prevented Serb war criminals’ arrest

  1. Paddy AShdown says:

    Please immediately amend this posting. The accusation that I met with Karadzic while I was High Representtive in Bosnia, was indeed made in Ms Hartmanns. It is wholly unture and defamatory. My lawyers made this clear to Ms Hartman’s lawyers. Indeed this accusation was said to be beased on a converstaion between Joschka Fischer and Caral del Ponte who have both explicitly confirmed in writing that the conversation referred to did not take place and no such claim was ever made.

    Please now amend this in order to ensure that your blog does not contain inaccurate and defamatory information whihc may make it liable to legal action.


  2. intelNews says:

    Thank you for your message. Please note that the article above refers to Ms. Hartmann’s allegations of a 2004 meeting between Radovan Karadzic and Lord Paddy Ashdown. It does not confirm nor refute these allegations. Contact us at your earliest convenience from an institutional email account that confirms your identity, with further details of your refutation of these allegations (including copies of the legal letters exchanged between your and Ms Hartmann’s legal representatives) and we will happily publish them in conjuction with the above article. [JF]

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