THE HAGUE, Netherlands – The following are brief profiles of the leading figures in the trial of Slobodan Milosevic:
Slobodan Milosevic, born Aug. 20, 1941, in Pozarevac, Serbia. He effectively ruled Yugoslavia for 13 years after seizing control of the Serbian Communist Party. He served two terms as president of Serbia, the dominant Yugoslav republic, then became president of Yugoslavia in July 1997. Milosevic inspired fanatical devotion among Serb nationalists and led his country through three wars from 1991 to 1999 in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. He stands accused of war crimes in all three conflicts.
Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, born Feb. 9, 1947, in Lugano, Switzerland. She joined the tribunal in September 1999, replacing Louise Arbour of Canada. Previously she was best known for her cases against drug traffickers and the Italian Mafia. She has been protected by bodyguards ever since learning the Mafia had taken out a contract on her life a decade ago. She gained new enemies in the 1980s and 1990s as she hunted for high-profile money launderers, arms dealers and hidden bank accounts of ousted dictators.
Principal trial attorney Geoffrey Nice, born London, Oct. 21, 1945. He has led several key tribunal cases, including the genocide trial of Goran Jelisic, known as the "Serb Adolf."
Senior Trial Attorney Dirk Ryneveld, born in Rotterdam, Netherlands, 1946. He gained experience in Canada prosecuting dozens of murder cases.
Presiding judge Richard May, born Nov. 12, 1938. He joined the tribunal in November 1998. He once had political ambitions and ran against former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher before embarking on a long career on the English district court circuit. He has presided over the five pretrial hearings since Milosevic was transferred to The Hague last June, repeatedly turning off Milosevic's microphone to cut off his political speeches.
Judge Patrick Lipton Robinson, born Jan. 29, 1944, in Jamaica. He had extensive background in Jamaican prosecutor's office and office of the attorney general.
Judge O-Gon Kwon, born Sept. 2, 1953, Cheong-ju, Korea. He joined the tribunal in November 2001.