Former War Crimes Prosecutor Investigated Over Illegal Evidence

Carla Del Ponte, the former prosecutor at the UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, is to be investigated over claims she allowed the use of bullying and bribing of witnesses.

An independent inquiry has been ordered into the practices of Del Ponte and two prominent serving prosecutors, Hildegard Ürtz-Retzlaff and Daniel Saxon, after complaints from witnesses that they had been harassed, paid, mistreated and their evidence tampered with.

During her eight years as chief prosecutor, Del Ponte, was a combative and divisive figure. She left her post in 2007.

The allegations against her concern the working practices of her team of investigators in the ongoing prosecution for war crimes of the Serbian politician, Vojislav Seselj, a notorious warlord.

Well-paid jobs in the US were supposed to have been offered to witnesses as well as sleep deprivation used during interviews, psychological pressure, blackmail, threats and illegal payments of money.

It should be remembered that Seselj, who surrendered to the tribunal seven years ago, has been alleging prosecution dirty tricks for years. However, he himself is routinely disruptive in court. He has already been sentenced to 15 months for contempt of court after revealing the names and addresses of protected witnesses.

Is this a case of the Judge, who already seems to have been bending over backwards to please the defendant, trying too hard to be politically correct?

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