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Madame Prosecutor: Confrontations with Humanity's Worst Criminals and the Culture of Impunity Hardcover – January 20, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Cynics argue that because the United Nations was unable to stop the carnage in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, it set up war crimes tribunals instead, as a kind of humanitarian consolation prize.
What the diplomats did not expect was Carla Del Ponte’s determination to bring the perpetrators to justice and to end the culture of impunity. As the attorney general of Switzerland, she had fought against the muro di gomma, the wall of rubber, that deflected her attempts to stop Mafia money-laundering. “Madame Prosecutor” is her account of battling the muro di gomma across the Balkans, Rwanda and Western capitals.
It is a relentless, sometimes (understandably) angry book, and an important insider’s account of the quest for international justice."
"Carla Del Ponte is not the quiet type. The tenacious European prosecutor took on some of the most powerful members of the Sicilian mafia, hammering away at their now infamous "pizza connection" with Swiss bankers. As head of the international tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, she hauled Slobodan Milosevic and dozens of others into court for war crimes, and investigated acts of genocide in Rwanda. Her enemies branded her "the whore" and plotted to blow her up with bombs, prompting the Swiss government to assign her around-the-clock bodyguards, who protect her to this day. Her investigative prowess impressed former FBI director Louis Freeh—and infuriated former CIA director George Tenet, whom she badgered for assistance in tracking Milosevic's henchmen. And in her new memoir, "Madame Prosecutor," the English-language edition of which was released this month, she courts fresh controversy by charging that officials at the United Nations and NATO failed to properly investigate allegations of Albanian atrocities against Serbs in Kosovo in 1999."
"Madame Prosecutor is a lengthy discussion of the heinousness of crimes against humanity and a poignant plea for a better international crimi-nal justice system. Using the imperfect system now in place, Del Ponte’s efforts to bring war criminals to trial are nothing short of fascinating and heroic. Her work contributed to the indictment, arrest, or prosecution of Slobodan Milosevic and dozens more. Sudetic’s experience as a New York Times reporter and author as well as his work as an analyst for the Yugoslavia tribunal and his current position as senior writer for the Open So-ciety Institute, also inform the politics and scope of Madame Prosecutor."
“Del Ponte, protagonist of this...hard-nosed memoir, was chief prosecutor for the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the biggest war crimes prosecution since WWII… Her implacable quest for justice is admirable…”
“The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda recounts eight years of frustration seeking justice for the victims of genocide and crimes against humanity.”
“Crucial historical depth…is what separates [Madame Prosecutor] from the dozens of others written by the diplomats and soldiers who have tangled with the Balkans.”
The New York Review of Books
“Carla del Ponte’s recollection and defense of her controversial tenure as the chief prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal…mercilessly searches for historical truth...What drove [Del Ponte] with a kind of manic fury was a desire to see justice done.”
Onetime Swiss Attorney General Carla Del Ponte was chief prosecutor for the international tribunals that went after the genocidal masterminds responsible for mass violence in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. Madame Prosecutor: Confrontations With Humanity’s Worst Criminals and the Culture of Impunity (Other Press), coauthored with reporter-writer Chuck Sudetic, is her unforgettably brave story.
"Del Ponte offers a highly personal story of how she took on the awesome responsibility of prosecuting war crimes."
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Top Customer Reviews
The problem is certainly not with Del Ponte--she was a dogged worker, good manager and dedicated prosecutor. She does not come across as a person one would want as a friend but as someone to bring end the culture of impunity enjoyed by mass murderers. I doubt if a anyone could do better given the built-in constraints of the system.
Del Ponte was both ambitious, wanting success for its own sake and to continue her career but also fervent in her desire to get the people ultimately guilty for some of the worst crimes since the end of World War II. She is able to ignore the details of slaughter and refuses to prosecute the low level soldiers and police officers guilty of murder. She wants the monsters who initiated the reign of terror against helpless civilians in central Africa and Southeast Europe.
The biggest problem she faced is the willingness of the United States, France, the United Kingdom and other nations who have tried to seize the moral high ground recently to value diplomacy over justice. Another difficulty is the bureacracy of the UN itself. There are plenty of other reasons why the going has been slow and few of the guilty have been tried.
Spain showed the way when a court there indicted Augusto Pinochet for crimes committed during his term as dictator in Chile.Read more ›
Del Ponte gives a decent enough background and description of the situation in Rwanda and Yugoslavia to put the cases against the different war criminals in perspective. However, del Ponte spent most of the book describing her encounters with the muro di gomma, the rubber wall. As chief prosecutor of the ICTY and the ICTR it was her responsibility to secure continued support and cooperation from the different countries involved in establishing these two international tribunals. Yet everywhere she turns she encounters opposition against her work. Many countries promise to help capture the accused, but few follow through on those promises in a timely fashion or at all. Del Ponte creates a very clear picture of how frustrating this hostility is, but it appears to only motivate her more.
Another interesting point del Ponte makes are about the cases she would have like to have prosecuted, but was incapable of doing due to a variety of reasons. She repeatedly speaks about her desire to bring Kagame and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) to answer for their crimes during the Rwandan genocide and the aftermath.Read more ›
Serbia fully committed to cooperation with ICTY
President of the National Council for Cooperation with the ICTY Rasim Ljajic met today with ICTY President Patrick Robinson. This is Robinson's first official visit to Belgrade.
According to a statement issued by the National Council, Ljajic informed Robinson about Serbia's efforts and commitment in cooperating with the tribunal.
Ljajic also told Robinson about current activities for apprehending the remaining two Hague indictees, Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic.
Robinson said that he is aware of the changes in Serbia's overall political climate and of the commitment of the Serbian authorities to fully cooperate with the tribunal, adding that he thinks that this is extremely important for confronting the past, for reconciliation to take place in the region and for strengthening the rule of law.
Serbia's initiative to create conditions for Hague indictees found guilty to serve their prison terms in their respective countries was also discussed at the meeting.
Robinson stressed that the ICTY has received several such demands from Slovenia and Croatia, adding that this is the right moment to consider the issue and it is possible that the Security Council will make a final decision regarding this matter within the foreseeable future.
The issue of providing medical aid to indictees in detention was also discussed. It was stated that Serbian doctors should be more involved in this process.
Carla Del Ponte goes into juicy and fascinating -- in a terrifying sense -- detail to expose the pretense from the above news clipping.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I cant decide whether to like this book or not. Getting down to the nitty-gritty of international politics was essentially the interesting part; at times, the reader gets bogged... Read morePublished on January 8, 2012 by Nadine Kaddoura
This book gets burdened by too many statistics, which is great for that class credit that you need for graduatation. Read morePublished on April 9, 2010 by Sergey Lazarev Fan