Examining past war crimes cases

The World

Serbian leader Milosevic was indicted in 1999 and Liberian leader Charles Taylor is being tried at the Hague. This former ambassador for war crimes says today’s announcement is in step with similar announcements in the past, and he says the purpose of these cases is to investigate the activities of leaders of governments. The prosecutor who investigated and indicted Charles Taylor in 2003 says this is like dej� vu, and he says he was both condemned and praised, but he also says five years later Liberia is stable. His conclusion is that the indictment turned out to be a cornerstone and not a hindrance to peace. This lawyer also says Milosevic’s charges can be instructive. Whereas some think the indictment of al-Bashir might hurt the peace process in Sudan, that lawyer says it’s important not to finesse dealing with perpetrators of war crimes. This US ambassador had similar dealings with Milosevic before he was indicted and he thinks the ICC should be able to proceed in Sudan without interference, but that’s not what he’s hearing from his colleagues. He says he met with the ICC prosecutor this month and his reasons for going after an indictment seemed valid.

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