On Wednesday, 7 June 2006, the President of the Tribunal, Judge Erik M ø se, and the Prosecutor, Justice Hassan B. Jallow, presented the updated version of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Completion Strategy to the Security Council during one of its bi-annual meetings with the two ad hoc Tribunals.
The President informed the Council that twenty-eight persons have received judgment and twenty-seven persons are on trial. Two new judgments are expected in a few weeks. Fourteen indictees are awaiting trial. It is expected that three new trials will commence in the second half of 2006. The ICTR remains on course to complete the trials of sixty-five to seventy persons by the end of 2008.
Judge M ø se stressed the need for cooperation from Member States in accommodating persons who have been acquitted by the Tribunal. He reiterated the ICTR’s request that the mandate of the permanent judges be extended to 2008 instead of holding new elections. The President also referred to various measures adopted by the Tribunal to increase the pace of the judicial proceedings and gave an overview of the Tribunal’s Outreach and Capacity Building programme in Rwanda.
Justice Jallow stated that the Tribunal continues to face challenges in arresting the eighteen indictees at large. If apprehended, six of them will be tried by the ICTR, while the cases of the others will likely be transferred to national jurisdictions. One of the most prominent fugitives, Félicien Kabuga, resides in Kenya despite calls by the Tribunal for his arrest and trial. All Member States must ensure the arrest of fugitives and their eventual trial either at the ICTR or in countries willing to accept cases on referral from the Tribunal. Countries that are willing to accept such cases, including Rwanda, need more support. International cooperation in this field remains imperative.
Justice Jallow described the contribution by the Office of the Prosecutor to building capacity in the Rwandan legal system. He also gave an overview of Prosecution strategies to facilitate speedy trials and the development of best practices and standards in various aspects of the investigation and trial processes.