Del Ponte Set to Lose Fight with Annan over Job at Genocide Court

Article excerpt

CARLA DEL PONTE is expected to lose her job as chief prosecutor of the United Nations court investigating the genocide in Rwanda after a showdown with Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general.

Ms Del Ponte, who is also chief prosecutor of the court in The Hague trying Balkans war crimes, failed to persuade Mr Annan not to split the two posts. At a meeting on Monday, Ms Del Ponte argued that the Rwandan government was leading a politically-motivated campaign to have her replaced.

But after the discussions in New York, Mr Annan confirmed that he was proposing the appointment of a new prosecutor for the Rwandan tribunal to the Security Council, which will have the final say.

Mr Annan, who is already said to have sounded out senior diplomats, said: "Since their inception, one prosecutor has been managing both tribunals. There is a sense that, as we approach the end, and both tribunals are being asked to come up with a completion strategy to be able to finish their work and close down the courts, it may be necessary to have two prosecutors to tackle that essential part of their work."

Allies of the Swiss-born chief prosecutor believe Mr Annan is caving in to political pressure. …