While she refused to comment on the Appeals Chamber decision rendered today, the Tribunal’s Chief Prosecutor expressed fears that Milosevic might yet again "try to decide himself when he would appear in the courtroom…." Del Ponte is "astonished" by SFOR’s lack of effort to arrest fugitives from international justice.

Carla del Ponte, chief prosecutor at the TribunalCarla del Ponte, chief prosecutor at the Tribunal

ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte did not want to comment on the Appeals Chamber’s decision rendered today, which restored to Slobodan Milosevic the "principal role" in the presentation of evidence and the questioning of defense witnesses at his trial. She expressed concern that the accused might try yet again "to decide himself when he would appear in the courtroom." Del Ponte said, "this is impermissible, because it is not up to the accused to run the court." Del Ponte also expressed her hopes that the trial of Slobodan Milosevic would continue next week and that the defense case would end by October 2005 as stipulated by the Trial Chamber.

Del Ponte made her remarks at a joint press conference held by the Chief Prosecutors of the international criminal courts: Carla del Ponte, Luis Moreno Ocampo of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and Hassa Jallow from the Rwanda Tribunal. The conference was held on the occasion of the swearing-in of Ms. Fatou Boussanda, who was appointed Deputy Prosecutor of the ICC at the recent Assembly of States Parties—the legislative body the International Criminal Court.

Unlike Chief Prosecutor Ocampo--who boasted about "excellent cooperation" with states that should lead to the first arrests and the first trials before the International Criminal Tribunal in the next year--Del Ponte is unhappy with the level of cooperation offered both by the states of the former Yugoslavia and by international forces in BH. Noting that she "was astonished by the fact that in the last year and a half SFOR has not arrested any of the fugitives from international justice who are still in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, first and foremost among them, Radovan Karadzic," Del Ponte announced she would complain to the NATO Council. She is due to meet the Council this Wednesday. She will also be complaining to the UN Security Council. She is due to file her twice-yearly regular report at the end of November.