NOT SINCE NUREMBERG AND TOKYO HAS the international community deemed war-crimes trials necessary. But the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), created in May 1993, has been beset by problems: continued fighting makes access to evidence practically impossible; the United Nations, which set up the tribunal, is having difficulty providing adequate financing; and while tribunal officials have no power to arrest the accused, trials cannot be held in absentia. Based in The Hague, the tribunal is far removed from both the war and a directly interested public.

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