The Prosecutor of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Justice Hassan B. Jallow, today briefed members of the United Nations Security Council on the activities of the Mechanism-OTP and the ICTR-OTP over the last six months.
Prosecutor Jallow noted that his report followed on the heels of the 20th anniversary commemoration of the establishment of the ICTR by the Security Council on 8 November 1994 following the Rwandan genocide which saw the killing of more than 800,000 people within a hundred day period. Prosecutor Jallow further noted that as part of the events marking this 20th anniversary commemoration of the ICTR, his office at the ICTR hosted a Colloquium of international prosecutors on the Challenges and Prospects of local prosecution of international crimes with the participation of the prosecutors from the international and hybrid courts and tribunals, national prosecutors from some 20 countries as well as representatives from regional courts, academic institutions and civil society organizations. According to Prosecutor Jallow, “the theme of the Colloquium recognized the transition from primacy to the principle of complementarity and that it provided the international prosecutors an opportunity to share lessons and good practices of the past two decades with national prosecutors and to create a forum for consultation between prosecutors dealing with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes at the national level”.
The Prosecutor informed the Council that much of the workload of the ICTR-OTP has been concluded in the past six months. He further informed the Council that only the Butare case on appeal with six accused persons remains at the ICTR and the appeal oral submissions are scheduled for the first quarter of 2015.
With regard to the activities of the Mechanism-OTP, Prosecutor Jallow informed the Council that his office continues to take over the functions from the ICTR’s and ICTY’s Offices of the Prosecutor as mandated by the Mechanism Statute with full complement of staff now at both the Arusha and Hague branches. He highlighted in particular the fugitive tracking efforts of the Arusha branch and the conclusion of the Ngirabatware appeal case by the end of this year.
Prosecutor Jallow also reported on his recent visit in September this year to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia and the signing of Memoranda of Understanding with the prosecutors’ offices in all three states setting out the framework for continued mutual assistance between their offices and the Mechanism-OTP. Among other things, the Prosecutor also highlighted the significant increase in the number of requests for assistance in the last six months for The Hague branch, and the recruitment of staff for the ad hoc appeal teams next year for the cases of Vojislav Seselj, Radovan Karadzic and possibly Goran Hadzic.