The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of persons covered by Article 1 of the Statute of the Mechanism.
The Prosecutor acts independently and does not seek or receive instructions from governments, other organs of the Mechanism, international organizations, or any other source. The Office is composed of the Prosecutor, an officer in charge designated by the Prosecutor at each branch of the Mechanism, and other qualified staff that support the Office’s work.
The Prosecutor is appointed by the Security Council after nomination by the Secretary-General for a renewable four-year term. The OTP comprises a small number of staff who serve at both branches, consistent with the reduced functions of the Mechanism. Prosecution Staff are appointed by the Secretary-General on the recommendation of the Prosecutor. The Office also maintains a roster of qualified potential personnel – often persons with relevant experience from the ICTY or the ICTR – in order to maintain a small, efficient structure that can respond to the demands of future judicial activity.
The OTP carries out several duties under its mandate. Eight individuals indicted by the ICTR for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes are still at large. Three are expected to be tried by the Mechanism and the cases of the remaining five have been referred to Rwanda for trial. Locating and arresting them is a top priority for the Mechanism’s Office of the Prosecutor.
One primary function of the OTP is to conduct litigation. This includes the expeditious completion of trial, retrial, appeal and review proceedings of former ICTR and ICTY accused or others, as governed by the IRMCT Statute. The Prosecutor’s work also focuses on providing assistance to national authorities. By contributing invaluable evidence and expertise to national justice efforts, the Mechanism's Prosecutor readily supports further accountability for crimes committed in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia within their domestic jurisdictions.
The Office of the Prosecutor also monitors cases referred to domestic courts to ensure fair and impartial adjudication. It conducts other residual functions, such as trial readiness and the maintenance of OTP archives.