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Yugoslavia Crimes Tribunal Pays Tribute to Judge

UN War Crimes Tribunal For Yugoslavia Pays Tribute To Judge Who Has Resigned

The United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has paid tribute to Judge Richard May of the United Kingdom, who has had to resign from his post because of health reasons.

Judge Theodor Meron, president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (<" ">ICTY), issued a statement yesterday commending Judge May, whose resignation will be effective on 31 May.

Judge Meron said he was confident that Judge May's departure would "not have an unduly disruptive effect on any [ongoing] proceedings," including the trial of Slobodan Miloševic.

He added that he was confident that Secretary-General Kofi Annan would soon appoint a successor judge to Judge May.

Meanwhile, hearings in the Miloševic trial scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday have been cancelled due to the ill-health of the accused.

Commending Judge May's work, Judge Meron said he "has brought his practical wisdom and mastery of substantive criminal law to bear on many unprecedented challenges."

Since November 1998 Judge May has been Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber III, which means he has been presiding in the ongoing trial of the former Yugoslav President Slobodan Miloševic. Before that he served as a judge in Trial Chamber II for a year.

Mr. May has also chaired the ICTY's Committee on the Rules of Procedure and Evidence for five years, helping to shape a framework so that trials can be conducted effectively while the rights of the accused can also be respected.

"Much of the Tribunal's ability to conduct credible and sophisticated proceedings is due to Judge May's skilled leadership of the Rules Committee," Judge Meron said.

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