The Tribunal has received a copy of a press statement issued by the President of the Association of Defence Advocates before the ICTR (ADAD), dated 22 April 2002, on the subject of the Registrar’s withdrawal of his proposal to the Rwandan authorities of a joint commission to investigate allegations of mistreatment of prosecution witnesses at the Tribunal.
The Registrar wishes to underline that he exercises his functions in full independence in accordance with the Statute of the Tribunal and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and not on the basis of the partial interests of the parties before the Tribunal or under pressure from any external entity.
The Registry of the Tribunal therefore dissociates itself from the assertions made in the ADAD press statement. The Registry is an independent organ of the Tribunal and the Registrar’s decision to withdraw the proposal for a joint commission was based on principle due to misunderstandings about the intended mandate of the commission. The Registrar did not, and does not, interpret Rwanda’s views as “manipulative demands” as the ADAD statement calls them.
As a separate matter, the internal panel investigating the backgrounds of defence investigators is continuing its work in order to ensure that persons who may have participated or been involved in the genocide and other violations of humanitarian law in Rwanda are not involved in any manner whatsoever in the judicial process of the Tribunal. In this connection, on 2 April 2002 the Registry suspended a defence investigator, Mr Pierre-Claver Karangwa pending the completion of such investigations into his background. As has been the position in other cases, should the investigations, when completed, reveal no credible evidence, the Registrar will lift the suspension.