In her address to the UN Security Council, ICTY Chief Prosecutor was critical of the cooperation on the part of Belgrade and UNMIK and the "cat-and-mouse game" the international community has been playing with Karadzic and Mladic. It is high time, Del Ponte concluded, for "the cats to stop suffering the ridicule of the mice"

Carla Del Ponte in the Security CouncilCarla Del Ponte in the Security Council

Over the past months, the cooperation of Serbia and Montenegro with the ICTY Office of the Prosecutor has deteriorated, Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte stated in her address to the UN Security Council.

Del Ponte explained that "there is no serious, well-articulated action plan on the arrest of the fugitives”. Moreover, there is a lack of co-ordination between the State Union authorities and the two Republic’s Governments". Not only that, but there is palpable "rivalry" between the agencies involved in the activities. The prosecution receives "scarce and unconvincing" information from Belgrade. Del Ponte further states that the Army of Serbia and Montenegro "continues to hamper, both actively and passively, the co-operation" of the state with the Tribunal, and that Serbian civilian authorities admit today that the Army "as an institution" was protecting Ratko Mladic until as late as at least May 2002. Despite the efforts of the National Cooperation Council’s President, and the assurances by the civilian authorities, as Del Ponte noted, the military authorities prevents the disclosure of vital military documents pertaining to Kosovo and the official and medical documents from Ratko Mladic's file, forcing the prosecution to ask the Trial Chamber to issue binding orders. In Del Ponte's view, the irony is that some of the materials the prosecution has been asking for in vain for years are sometimes being produced by defense witnesses in the Milosevic case. "From whom did they obtain them, if not from those who refuse to provide them to us," Carla del Ponte asked rhetorically before the Security Council.

ICTY Chief Prosecutor is not happy with the cooperation by UNMIK. The Office of the Prosecutor, she noted, has problems getting access to UNMIK documents. Sometimes they are provided in a redacted form or delivered in such a way that they cannot be used in court. Del Ponte is not fully satisfied with the cooperation she gets from UNMIK when it comes to witness protection and is not sure the UN administration in Kosovo fully controls whether Ramush Haradinaj complies fully with all the terms of his provisional release.

Del Ponte warned the Security Council once again of "widespread and systematic" intimidation of witnesses in Kosovo, which, as she said, "has a very serious impact on court proceedings at the ICTY". Del Ponte said that in the Limaj et al. case, several witnesses refused to appear in front of the court, or withdrew or changed their testimony because they were intimidated or afraid. This may have influenced the outcome of the first instance judgment.

In her address before the Security Council, Del Ponte was very critical of the international community. As she said, it has been playing "cat-and-mouse" for ten years with Karadzic and Mladic. She described how in the "cat-and-mouse game", the cats – the international community – wear "blindfolds", "clawing at each allowing the mice to run from one hole to another"". It is high time, Del Ponte concluded, ""the cats to stop suffering the ridicule of the mice".