Enough evidence against Assad war crimes: UN prosecutor

Del Ponte said she was convinced there was enough documentation to convict Assad as a war criminal.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria has enough evidence against President Bashar al-Assad to be convicted of war crimes, a UN senior member said on Sunday.

Carla Del Ponte, a former war crime prosecutor, said there was sufficient proof to hold Assad answerable for war crimes, Reuters reported.

While speaking with Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung, Del Ponte said she was convinced there was enough documentation to convict Assad as a war criminal.

“That is why the situation is so frustrating. The preparatory work has been done. Despite that, there is no prosecutor and no court," she added.

Last week, Del Ponte announced she would be stepping down from her position on the Commission due to “inaction” regarding the Syrian civil war.

Del Ponte accused the UN Security Council of lacking the “political will” to continue the commission’s work by setting up a special tribunal for Syria that could try alleged war criminals.

The commission was formed in August 2011 and has regularly reported on human rights violations.

The UN has announced it will set up a new body to handle prosecutions, but there is no sign of a court being created specifically to address the crimes committed during the six-and-a-half years of conflict in Syria.

The matter has not been referred to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

“For six years, the commission has investigated. Now, a prosecutor should continue our work and bring the war criminals before a special court,” Del Ponte concluded.

“I have no power as long as the Security Council does nothing,” she said. “We are powerless. There is no justice for Syria.”

There is no timeline for her departure from her role yet.

The Syrian government, led by Assad, has repeatedly denied reports of war crimes committed by government-backed forces and Syria’s security services.


Editing by Karzan Sulaivany