Leading war crimes judge Cassese dies of cancer

AMSTERDAM Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:24pm IST

Related Topics

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Judge Antonio Cassese, the first president of the U.N.-backed Lebanon tribunal and the Yugoslavia war crimes court in The Hague, has died at home after a long fight with cancer.

Italian-born Cassese, 73, who stepped down as president of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on Oct. 9 after more than two years in the post, died at his home in Florence, Italy, overnight, the Hague-based court said on Saturday.

The tribunal was set up to investigate the 2005 killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, the first international court with jurisdiction over crimes of terrorism.

In June the court issued arrest warrants against four Hezbollah members, but the Shi'ite Muslim group has refused to allow any of the suspects to be arrested.

Cassese said at the time that the warrants were a "decisive moment" for the Lebanese and for international justice, promising "unflinching determination" to establish the truth.

"He created and was the pre-eminent figure in modern international criminal law," current Lebanon tribunal president David Baragwanath said in a statement. "His vision, intellect, dynamism and courage changed attitudes, institutions and lives."

Cassese also served from 1993-97 as the first president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), set up to investigate ethnic cleansing in the Balkans.

The ICTY was the first war crimes court created by the U.N. and the first international war crimes tribunal since the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals established after World War Two.

(Reporting By Aaron Gray-Block)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

General Debate

Reuters Showcase

IS Threat

IS Threat

Islamic State closes in on Syrian town, refugees flood into Turkey.  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine says ceasefire violations hold up creation of buffer zone.  Full Article 

Social Media

Social Media

Iran prosecutor gives government 30 days to block social media .  Full Article 

Scotland Vote

Scotland Vote

Nationalist leader says Scots tricked out of independence.  Full Article 

Afghanistan Election

Afghanistan Election

Afghan election body names ex-finance minister Ghani president-elect.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage