Switzerland government bars Del Ponte from promoting war crimes book

Switzerland government bars Del Ponte from promoting war crimes book

[JURIST] The Switzerland Foreign Ministry [official website] has barred former ICTY chief prosecutor and current Swiss ambassador to Argentina Carla Del Ponte [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] from publicly promoting her new book "The Hunt: Me and War Criminals," according to Tuesday reports. The Swiss government has said that statements made in the book [Kosovo Compromise report] that condemn the actions of several politicians of the former Yugoslavia, including current Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci [official website, in Albanian; BBC profile], are inconsistent with her present role. Switzerland was one of the first countries to recognize Kosovo's February unilateral declaration of independence [JURIST report]. In the book Del Ponte also criticizes the United States for discouraging prosecution of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) members, currently in power in Rwanda, in connection with the 1994 genocide there. Del Ponte was initially also in charge of prosecutions before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Del Ponte, who served as chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website], alleges in her book that approximately 300 Serbs were killed for organ trafficking after being imprisoned by Albanian rebels in 1999. Last month, the Office of Serbia's War Crimes Prosecutor [official website] said that it was investigating "informal statements" [JURIST report] received from ICTY investigators alleging illegal organ harvesting. The ICTY has not commented officially on the alleged organ trafficking. DPA has more. Itar-Tass has additional coverage.