Update: See Louis Proyect’s comment below. Carla Del Ponte has herself been a target of an earlier investigation over her handling of witnesses during Balkan war crimes cases. “During her eight years as chief prosecutor,” she was “a combative and divisive figure,” Ian Traynor wrote in 2010.
Sir Geoffrey Nice, who was a deputy prosecutor at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic in the Hague, says: “Given her behaviour in the Haradinaj case, her colleagues should be very cautious when considering any of her contributions in the investigation [in Syria].”
Reuters reports: U.N. human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday.
The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.
“Our investigators have been in neighbouring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.
“This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,” she added, speaking in Italian.
Del Ponte, a former Swiss attorney-general who also served as prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, gave no details as to when or where sarin may have been used.