The President and the Prosecutor of the ICTR today in New York provided an update to the UN Security Council on its completion strategy. In that regard, the President and the Prosecutor both confirmed that the Tribunal is on schedule to complete cases involving between sixty-five and seventy accused persons by the end of 2008, as envisaged in the ICTR completion strategy.
The President, Judge Erik Mose stated that a total of 32 accused persons have now received judgments following their trials before the ICTR. He stated that another four judgments following recently concluded trials are expected soon. The President reported that nine trials, involving 25 accused persons are currently in progress with several judgments due to be rendered in 2007.
The President in his report also confirmed that a total of nine detainees are currently awaiting trials. Finally, the President reiterated the need for member states to cooperate in the arrest and transfer of all indictees still at large to the ICTR, as well as to receive acquitted persons.
In his report, the Prosecutor of the ICTR, Mr. Justice Hassan Jallow reported that since his last report to the Security Council in June 2006, five trials which were ongoing during the said period have now been completed. He further reported that during the same period, several new trials had commenced as planned.
The Prosecutor reported that there had however been no arrest of fugitives during the said period. Justice Jallow further reported that he was confident that all ongoing trials as well as those earmarked for trial in Arusha, save for those relating to top level fugitives such as Felicien Kabuga would conclude during 2007 and 2008.
The Prosecutor reported that his focus in the coming year will be geared towards the timely and efficient conclusion of the ongoing trials, the preparation of additional cases for trial, the intensification of the tracking and arrest programme, as well as the referral of cases to national jurisdictions.
In that regard, the Prosecutor reported that it is proposed that 5 of the 9 detainees awaiting trial at the ICTR together with 12 out of the 18 fugitives indicted by ICTR would be referred to the Republic of Rwanda for trial whilst, the remaining 6 high-level fugitives are earmarked for trial in Arusha.
The Prosecutor also called upon the Security Council to request member states to cooperate in tracking fugitives and to assist with capacity building in those countries such as Rwanda which have indicated their willingness to accept cases on referral from the Tribunal.
The Prosecutor reaffirmed the commitment of the Tribunal to attaining the completion deadlines. Finally, Justice Jallow paid tribute to the out-going UN Secretary-General, H.E Mr. Kofi Annan for his support to the work of the Tribunal and his commitment to the struggle against impunity.