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NEW YORK — As the chief U.N. war crimes prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte spends a lot of time in her office and the courtroom, but said working with politicians, diplomats and other government officials around the globe is a key part of her job. “It is important to inform and persuade that justice must be done for the victims because the prosecutor represents the victims,” said Del Ponte, prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Del Ponte, who will step down from her second four-year term in September, spoke during a discussion Tuesday night following the showing of “Carla’s List,” a documentary that takes a behind-the-scenes look at her pursuit of justice. The film is one of 24 from 17 countries being shown at the Lincoln Center through June 28 as part of the 18th Annual Human Rights Watch International Film Festival. A day earlier, Del Ponte addressed the U.N. Security Council, where she gave an update on her efforts to arrest those accused of war crimes during the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Ninety-one people have been taken into custody, 59 people were convicted and convictions against 37 of them have been upheld. But four persons remain at large — including the two most important fugitives, Radovan Karadic and Ratko Mladic — leaving a “permanent stain” on the tribunal’s work, Del Ponte said. During a discussion in front of a sold-out crowd in Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, which greeted her with a standing ovation, Del Ponte said she works with a team around the globe. “I take the responsibility for all that is done in my office but I have 400 collaborators who are all motivated and dedicated to do what has to be done,” said Del Ponte, who served five years as Switzerland’s attorney general. “It’s a motivation that can oblige you to work 48 hours without rest.” Del Ponte said she has no police force to execute arrest warrants so she relies on help from the international community, which she has often criticized for not arresting the remaining fugitives. In the late 1990s, NATO showed no will to arrest the fugitives for reasons such as fear of demonstrations and violence, she said. “Politics is often interfering with our work,” Del Ponte said. Sometimes, pressure has to be applied, she said. Del Ponte said Croatia has typically been cooperative, but recently showed some resistance making available documents in connection with the trial of Ante Gotovina, a former Croatian Army general in the tribunal’s custody. “Because I have direct contact with the government, I solved the problem immediately,” she said. As for the two main fugitives, Del Ponte said both are believed to be in Serbia, whose government she said only recently started showing the political will to make the arrests. Asked about one of the fugitive’s financial networks by an audience member, Del Ponte said there is little information about it. “I must tell you that even if I had it, I wouldn’t give it to you now,” she said. “But unfortunately, I don’t have it.”

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