Yury Skuratov: “Carla Del Ponte is a brave woman, I know her rather well”

During the on-line interview with Russia’s Ex-Public Prosecutor Yury Skuratov held by PRAVDA.Ru, a question as for legitimacy of the activity of the International tribunal was asked. Yury Skuratov said, now, when the Tribunal already exists and is gaining force, not legitimacy or non-legitimacy, but its objectivity in consideration of the cases is to be discussed. Particularly, the case of Slobodan Milosevic was meant. The ex-public prosecutor thinks, the trial looks mostly like a political, criminal process, not actual objective examination of the case. The Hague judges treat the case one-sidedly: the activity of the Bosnia Muslims (during the war in Bosnia in 1992-1995) is merely ignored by the judges of the tribunal. Skuratov thinks, Moscow and Russia’s Foreign Ministry are to take a more definite and offensive position in this situation. He suggests, Moscow is to initiate talks between representatives of the tribunal and Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte. But, unfortunately, no initiative has been observed so far.

At the same time, Yury Skuratov thinks, Slobodan Milosevic can be acquitted at the end. To be honest, it would be impossible for Milosevic to escape wars and disasters in Yugoslavia without making mistakes, especially regarding the scale of the opposition between the parties. But what is of great importance, the ex-president of Yugoslavia aimed at preservation of an indivisible state (the crisis in Kosovo is to be mentioned here, when the main terrorist threat originated from the Kosovo liberation army). Regarding the present-day situation in the Balkans, this very role of Slobodan Milosevic is becoming more evident.

As for Skuratov’s personal attitude towards Chief Prosecutor of the Hague tribunal Carla Del Ponte, he said, he respected the Chief Prosecutor as a brave woman and high class professional. “I am thankful to her for the position regarding the Mabetex case. She wonderfully investigated the case together with Italian specialists. The case was rather serious, as Carla Del Ponte was even attempted in the course of the investigation. I always rely upon my personal feelings.”

A complete version of the interview with Yury Skuratov read in PRAVDA.Ru’s on-line conference:http://www.pravda.ru/skur.html

Sergey Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/02/18/37247.html

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