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The President of ICTR calls for additional ad litem Judges

Link to Address by Judge Erik Møse, President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to the:

The United Nations General Assembly

The United Nations Security Council

Addressing the General Assembly in New York today on the achievements and future actions of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Judge Erik Møse, President of the Tribunal, stressed the Tribunal’s need for additional ad litem judges. On the same day, the President also addressed the Security Council.

In presenting the annual report of the ICTR, President Møse detailed the Tribunal’s achievements and the reforms undertaken in many areas to expedite trials. He indicated that by the end of 2003 or early 2004, the Tribunal will have rendered 15 judgements involving 21 accused since the first trials started in 1997. Two trials involving a total of ten accused persons are ongoing. Four other trials, involving ten accused persons, are scheduled to commence by the end of 2003. Therefore, 41 accused will soon have their trials completed or in progress. In 2003, the Tribunal has so far rendered three judgements involving four accused.

In his address to the General Assembly and later to the Security Council, the President stressed the need for the Tribunal to be granted additional ad litem judges in order to achieve its mandate by 2008, as requested by the Security Council. He requested that the number of ad litem judges who will be able to sit at any one time, be increased from four to nine. This will enable the Chambers to speed up the cases involving the detainees currently awaiting trial. The President also reiterated the Tribunal’s request to increase the competence of ad litem judges to include pre-trial work.

In the completion strategy that he presented to the two bodies of the United Nations, the President estimates the number of trials which can be completed with four ad litem judges and with nine ad litem judges. With nine ad litem judges, the ICTR will be in a better position to finalize most trials, including indictees and suspects at large, by the target date of 2008.The reform will enable the Tribunal to create six permanent Trial Chambers sections.

The President thanked the Members States, the Security Council and the Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, for their assistance and support.

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