The former chief prosecutor of the United Nations war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda has called for an international arrest warrant to be issued for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Putin is a war criminal,” Carla Del Ponte told the Swiss newspaper Le Temps in an interview published on Saturday.
In interviews with Swiss media on the occasion of the publication of her latest book, the Swiss lawyer overseeing the UN investigations into Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia said that war crimes were clearly being committed in Ukraine.
She said she was particularly shocked by the use of mass graves in Russia’s war against Ukraine, reminiscent of the worst wars in former Yugoslavia.
“I had hoped never to see mass graves again,” she told the Blick newspaper. “These dead have loved ones who don’t even know what became of them. This is unacceptable.”
Other war crimes she identified in Ukraine included attacks on civilians, demolition of civilian buildings, and even demolition of entire villages.
She said investigations in Ukraine are easier than those in Yugoslavia because the country itself has requested an international investigation. The current Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, visited Ukraine last month.
If the ICC finds evidence of war crimes, she said, “you have to go up the chain of command until you reach those who made the decisions.”
She said it was possible to hold even Putin accountable.
“You must not give up, continue with the investigation. When the investigations against Slobodan Milosevic began, he was still President of Serbia. Who would have thought then that he would one day be judged? Nobody,” she told Blick.
Del Ponte added that investigations should be conducted into possible war crimes committed by both sides and also pointed to reports of alleged torture of some Russian POWs by Ukrainian forces.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/02/ex-un-prosecutor-carla-del-ponte-urges-global-arrest-warrant-for-putin/ Former UN prosecutor Carla Del Ponte calls for worldwide arrest warrant for Putin