The former head prosecutor of the United Nations war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda has urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to be placed under global arrest.
“Putin is a war criminal,” Carla Del Ponte said in an interview published Saturday in the Swiss newspaper Le Temps.
The Swiss lawyer who oversaw UN investigations in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia said there were definite war crimes being committed in Ukraine in interviews given to Swiss media to celebrate the release of her new book.
“I had hoped to never witness mass graves again,” she told Blick. “These dead folks have loved ones who have no idea what happened to them.” This is inexcusable.
Attacks on civilians, the demolition of civilian buildings, and even the razing of entire villages were among the other war crimes she discovered in Ukraine.
She claimed that the investigation in Ukraine would be easier than the investigation in Yugoslavia since Ukraine had requested an international investigation. Karim Khan, the current ICC head prosecutor, visited Ukraine last month.
“You must move up the chain of command until you reach those who took the decisions,” she stated if the ICC discovers proof of war crimes.
She stated that even Putin may be held accountable.
“You must not give up; you must continue your investigation.” Slobodan Milosevic was still president of Serbia when the inquiry into him began. Who would have guessed that he would be judged one day? “No one,” she said to Blick.
Del Ponte went on to say that both sides should be investigated for probable war crimes, citing stories of alleged torture of Russian prisoners of war by Ukrainian forces as an example.