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UN Hariri investigator expected to become next ICTY chief prosecutor

[JURIST] Serge Brammertz [official profile], the former Belgian federal prosecutor who currently heads the UN investigation [JURIST news archive] into the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, is expected to replace Carla Del Ponte [official profile] as the next chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website], UN officials said Wednesday. The officials said that Brammertz has agreed to take the ICTY position when the mandate of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission [UN materials] expires in December.

Del Ponte, a former Swiss attorney general whose second four-year term as ICTY chief prosecutor expires in September, said Thursday through her spokesperson that she is willing to stay on until December [AP report]. Formal approval from the Swiss government and the UN Security Council would be required if Del Ponte were to extend her term. Brammertz recently resigned [JURIST report] his position as deputy prosecutor for investigations at the International Criminal Court [official website]. He must be formally nominated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to serve as ICTY prosecutor and the nomination must be approved by the Security Council before Brammertz could take up the ICTY's on-going prosecution of approximately 60 defendants. Four of the 161 suspects indicted by the ICTY remain fugitives, including Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; JURIST news archive], and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [ICTY case backgrounder; BBC profile]. The New York Times has more.

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