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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03THEHAGUE1858 2003-07-23 05:21:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

ICTY: DEL PONTE PUSHES BACK;SEEKS MEETING WITH SG

Tags:   BK HR KAWC NL PHUM PREL SR ICTY ICTR 
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					C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 001858 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR S/WCI - PROSPER/MILLER, USUN FOR ROSTOW, EUR
- JONES, EUR/SCE - JONES/GREGORIAN, L/EUR - LAHNE, L/AF -
GTAFT. INR/WCAD - SPRIGG

E.O. 12958: DECL: 1.6 FIVE YEARS AFTER CLOSURE ICTY
TAGS: BK HR KAWC NL PHUM PREL SR ICTY ICTR
SUBJECT: ICTY: DEL PONTE PUSHES BACK;SEEKS MEETING WITH SG
ANNAN




1. Classified by Clifton M. Johnson, Legal Counselor, Reason
1.5(d) and 1.6.



2. (C) Summary. Carla Del Ponte, Chief Prosecutor of the
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
(ICTY), is seeking an urgent meeting with UN Secretary
General Annan, perhaps as early as tomorrow, to take a
sounding of the extent of his support for her and to lobby
for her position. At her request, Senior Adviser Anton
Nikiforov conveyed to the U.S. and other governments her
request for greater involvement in the crafting of the
Security Council resolution,s language relating to the
completion strategy, defended her leadership of the ICTR, and
pressed for more explicit language in the draft resolution
that would give her a stronger basis for limiting future
indictments. End summary.



3. (C) Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) Senior Adviser Anton
Nikiforov requested a meeting with Embassy legal officers to
convey a message from Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte
concerning the renewal of her mandate and a related security
council resolution. Nikiforov explained that he had been
asked to brief representatives of various key capitals today,
had already spoken to the UK and planned to meet with France
shortly. Nikiforov explained that there were three key
issues in play: the separation of the ICTY/ICTR prosecutor
position into two positions, the extension of Del Ponte,s
term for a "limited" period, and language from the Security
Council in the form of either a Presidential Statement or
resolution relating to the completion strategy. Del Ponte
opposed the first two initiatives, but supported the third.

ICTY/ICTR Chief Prosecutor Position



4. (C) With respect to the creation of a separate ICTR
prosecutor position, Nikiforov conveyed Del Ponte,s view
that it was "not reasonable to take this step after ten
years." Del Ponte believes that the situation in the ICTR
has stabilized, that the right people have been found to run
the prosecutor,s office there (i.e. the new deputy
prosecutor and chief of prosecutions), and that the new team
has had visible results. According to Nikiforov, Del Ponte
recognizes that for many years the ICTR was adrift but that
it is now "running smoothly" and there is good coordination
among its various officials. She said she was committed "at
all costs" to finish investigations by 2004 and trials by


2008. If a change is made now, it will "create a new
crisis." Del Ponte believes that the new deputy and chief of
prosecutions will leave if ICTY and ICTR functions are split.

Del Ponte to Lobby in NY for Renewal



5. (C) Nikiforov advised that Del Ponte was seeking a
meeting with Secretary General Annan tomorrow, July 23, in
New York to discuss the full renewal of her mandate. He and
other OTP staffers had been tasked with preparing a paper
that Del Ponte would present to Annan describing her various
accomplishments in both the ICTY and ICTR. Based on the
signal she received from Annan, she might then seek meetings
with various Security Council members to lobby for her
renewal. Nikiforov implied that Del Ponte would take her cue
from Annan and that the degree to which she pressed back with
respect to manner in which her mandate was renewed would be
driven by her perception of his commitment to her. (Note:
We understand from other contacts that SG Annan,s Office is
likely to reject this request and advise her not to travel to
NY at this time. End note).

Completion Strategy



6. (C) In Del Ponte,s view, she "created the completion
strategy." She understands that draft security council
language is circulating in New York and wants to be actively
involved in formulating the language. (Note. Based on
Nikiforov,s knowledge of various details, it appears that
she has a copy of the U.S. proposed draft. End note.)
Nikforov confirmed that Del Ponte is receiving information
about the negotiations through "secret" calls but said she
would like to be approached openly for her views. According
to Nikforov, Del Ponte would like to see the language
constraining new indictments of non-senior level officials
moved from the preambular section to the operative section of
the resolution.



7. (C) Nikiforov further advised that Del Ponte believes the
proposed language is "too vague" and would like to see it as
firm and explicit as possible. Nikiforov explained that
trial and investigative teams will be pressing her to approve
new indictments and that she will be under pressure to
forward them for confirmation. Absent explicit language,
this would "put the Prosecutor in a difficult situation."
Pressed to explain what additional detail was desired,
Nikiforov indicated that the term "leadership" was vague,
though he also said that such terms were "more appropriately"
defined by the judges than the Security Council. Nikiforov
further reported that in a one-on-one conversation between
Del Ponte and ICTY President Meron, Meron had told Del Ponte
that he would not forward any new indictments to judicial
chambers for confirmation until the UNSC acted on the
completion strategy. (Note: Meron confirmed that such a
meeting had occurred but characterized as "absolutely untrue"
the statement attributed to him by Del Ponte. He had instead
said that if the Security Council acted to limit the scope of
future indictments to senior leadership cases that he would
only confirm such indictments. End note). Nikiforov summed
up by saying that if the Security Council passed a detailed
resolution with clear criteria on appropriate indictments,
Del Ponte could say, "We did our best, we were ready to do
more, but the Security Council has the authority and has made
clear its view."

Comment



8. (C) Nikiforov was placed in the unusual position of
delivering Del Ponte,s views on "political" matters by the
absence from the Hague of political adviser Jean-Daniel Ruch.
Nikiforov has been with the ICTY for a long time and is a
knowledgeable and skilled professional committed to the
Tribunal,s mission. He delivered Del Ponte,s message
strongly despite the mixed views he has previously expressed
about her performance. He noted in passing that Del Ponte
had asked him to weigh in with Russia and that he had been
"placed in a difficult position" by his government,s "strong
support" for the U.S. and UK efforts in New York. End
comment.
RUSSEL