Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow, the Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) today issued a statement soon after the judgement of Augustin Ngirabatware former Minister of Planning. The statement is reproduced in full below;
“Today the judges of Trial Chamber II of the ICTR presided over by Justice William Sekule unanimously found Augustin Ngirabatware guilty of genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and of rape as a crime against humanity. They sentenced him to 35 years in prison with credit for time served in pre-trial detention. The delivery of judgement today in this case marks a historic occasion and important mile stone in the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). For today the Tribunal has completed the trial phase of its mandate.
Established by the U.N. Security Council by Resolution 955 of 1994 with the mandate to prosecute persons responsible for genocide and serious violations of international humanitarian law in Rwanda in 1994, the ICTR has over the past eighteen years of its operations indicted 93 persons for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Of those indicted, 83 have been arrested with 75 of them prosecuted to judgement. 65 of those tried were found guilty and convicted, 9 of them on their guilty pleas. 10 of the accused have been acquitted. 3 died after indictment.
The cases of 10 of the accused were referred to national jurisdictions for trial including six of the remaining 9 fugitives. Two indictments were withdrawn. It has taken considerable effort, dedication and diligence by several parties for this outcome amongst them the governments and law enforcement authorities of some 21 countries which have cooperated in ensuring the arrest and transfer of s to the tribunal for trial; over three thousand witnesses from several countries who have despite many challenges, testified in order to assist the tribunal arrive at the truth and render justice; the many more states and national authorities which continue to provide , technical and diplomatic support to the tribunal in its operations particularly Rwanda and Tanzania the host countries of the ICTR; other countries which are providing prison facilities for the convicted prisoners of the court; the United Nations System and Secretariat; the judges and members of staff of the tribunal drawn from over 60 countries and across the major legal, linguistic and cultural traditions of the world who have over the years diligently discharged the responsibilities entrusted to them by the international community. To all of them indeed we owe a debt of gratitude.
I would like to record my appreciation and of the senior management of the ICTR of the combined efforts of these partners which have facilitated the achievements of the Tribunal. We hope that the ICTR has through the execution of its mandate made a difference: a difference in ensuring accountability for those who played a leading role in the tragedy of 1994 in Rwanda; in contributing to justice, reconciliation and respect for the rule of law in Rwanda in demonstrating the viability and effectiveness of the process of international legal accountability for international crimes; in providing through its extensive jurisprudence as well as from the lessons learnt from its operations the framework for a more effective system of international criminal justice.
Some important work still remains to be done at the ICTR. Mainly in the management of the remaining appeal cases as well as management of legacy and closure related issues. We are confident that these tasks too can be completed before the end of 2014 as stipulated by the U.N. Security Council. The conclusion of the work of this phase of the ICTR or its final closure will not affect the tracking of the remaining fugitives whose cases have now been transferred to the Residual Mechanism. The search for these fugitives will continue and will not cease and until they are found and until they are brought to account before the Mechanism or before an appropriate national jurisdiction for trial. We call on all states to fully cooperate with the Mechanism in securing the arrest and transfer of these fugitives. Thank you.” Hassan Bubacar Jallow Chief Prosecutor, ICTR & MICT Under Secretary-General, United Nations.