DEL PONTE DOES NOT HAVE JURISDICTION OVER CRIMES IN KOSOVO
The jurisdiction of the International War Crimes Tribunal is predicated on the existence of an "armed conflict", which was officially ended in July 1999.
Florence Hartmann, spokesperson in the Tribunal
The Office of the Prosecutor of the Hague Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to conduct investigations and to prosecute those responsible for the crimes committed in recent days in Kosovo, Florance Hartmann, spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor stated at a press conference today. With the exception of genocide, Hartmann said, the jurisdiction of the Tribunal over all the other crimes listed in the Statute was predicated on the existence of an "armed conflict", which ended in Kosovo with the signing of the Kumanovo Agreement, the deployment of the NATO forces and the establishment of the UN administration.
Hartmann added that Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte was aware of the events in Kosovo but that she "could not go beyond the framework of her jurisdiction.”
The Tribunal spokesperson Jim Landale reminded in this regard that the Hague Tribunal had "concurrent" jurisdiction with the national courts and that both UNMIK and the local courts had the jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the crimes committed after the end of the armed conflict in Kosovo.
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