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Carla Del Ponte to Make Balkan Visit

Tribunal Update 148: Last Week in The Hague (October 18-23, 1999)

During this week Del Ponte she was scheduled to visit the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the Kosovo region of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Croatia.

"In Kosovo, the work of the forensic teams in amassing the clear evidence of war crimes and atrocities is coming to a pause as winter comes," said Risley.

While in Pristina, Del Ponte will meet with General Klaus Reinhardt, the new Commander of KFOR, to discuss the continuing and close co-operation between the Tribunal and KFOR regarding the gathering of evidence of war crimes.

She will also meet with Bernard Kouchner, the head of the UN assistance mission (UNMIK) in Kosovo, as well as others in the international community to discuss the assistance the OTP can provide UNMIK in establishing a local criminal justice system and for the local prosecution of war crimes suspects.

Del Ponte has recently warned that the local judiciary will have to takeover part of the investigation and proceedings in war crimes cases since the Tribunal does not have the means to process all the cases emerging in Kosovo.

After Kosovo, Del Ponte will visit Sarajevo, where she will meet with the members of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency, with General Ronald Adams, the new commander of SFOR.

One of the most important issues raised between the Tribunal and SFOR is the arrest of persons accused of war crimes in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Del Ponte welcomed recent statements made in Republika Srpska regarding the support for the Tribunal, but it has not been determined whether she will meet with the representatives of the authorities of that entity.

The Prosecutor will also visit Croatia and meet with senior government officials regarding the state of Croatia's relations with the Tribunal. The Prosecutor, Risley said, had noted Croatia's continuing non-compliance with the Tribunal, a fact that has now been taken up by the Security Council.

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