Del Ponte tells of admiration for Milosevic
Carla Del Ponte, whose mission is to bring the worst criminals from the Yugoslav wars to justice and who spent more than four years trying Milosevic, paid tribute to the late Serbian leader, declaring him superior to the dozens of other suspects who have been in the dock at the tribunal in The Hague.
"The way he questioned certain witnesses was fascinating," she told Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. "He really knew how to deal with people. I admired that. He was the only accused who mounted his own defence alone ... Milosevic always spoke out. He had been the president of Yugoslavia. He was head and shoulders above the rest."
Milosevic died in custody in his cell outside The Hague earlier this year, almost five years after being flown there following his overthrow in Belgrade.
The death was a major blow to the tribunal, as it deprived the former Yugoslavia of a verdict in the biggest and longest trial before the court. The death spawned multiple conspiracy theories and also triggered strong criticism of the manner in which the tribunal operates.
In contrast to her admiration for Milosevic, Ms Del Ponte rounded on his successor, Vojislav Kostunica, whom she accused of having protected another key genocide suspect, General Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb commander still on the run more than 10 years after being indicted for genocide in Bosnia. "Kostunica knows exactly where Mladic was until February this year. Kostunica knows that he even protected Mladic until 2002 ... until recently he didn't want to have him arrested. He was sure that [Mladic] could be persuaded to give himself up."
At Ms Del Ponte's recommendation, the EU has frozen integration talks with Serbia because of its failure to capture Mladic. "We're concentrating now on Mladic because we know where he is," she said. "And we know that Belgrade can deliver him to us."