The OTP is mandated to act independently as a separate organ of the Tribunal and not to seek or receive instructions from any government or from any other source in the execution of its functions.
The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda and Rwandan citizens responsible for such violations committed in the territory of neighbouring states between 1 January and 31 December 1994.
The OTP is mandated by the ICTR Statute (article 15) to act independently as a separate organ of the Tribunal and not to seek or receive instructions from any government or from any other source in the execution of its functions. The OTP is headed by a Prosecutor appointed by the UN Security Council. The current Prosecutor is Hassan B. Jallow from The Gambia.
The OTP was at the height of its operation divided into different units with each unit responsible for specific assignments in the conduct of investigations and prosecution. The main units were the Immediate Office of the Prosecutor, the Prosecution Division, the Investigations Division, the Appeals and Legal Advisory Division (ALAD), and the Information and Evidence Support Section (IESS). In the context of the completion strategy of the Tribunal, some of these units have now closed with the considerable reduction of the workload.
The Prosecution Division was headed by a Chief of Prosecutions whose responsibility included supervision over prosecutions in general and trial work in particular. Trial lawyers in the Prosecution Division carried out a range of prosecutorial activities including the drafting of indictments, presentation of prosecution evidence before the Trial Chamber, and other related trial work. The Investigations Division was headed by a Chief of Investigations who had supervisory responsibility over the conduct of investigations by OTP investigators, and the collection of evidence including witness statements in preparation for trial. The Division also was responsible for the tracking and arrest of fugitive indictees as well as the management of sources and informants and the welfare of prosecution witnesses.
The Appeals and Legal Advisory Division is primarily responsible for all appeal work including interlocutory appeals and appeals from final judgements, as well as for providing legal advice. Appeals Counsel in ALAD dealt with all appeals by the Prosecutor or from the defence before the Appeals Chamber of the ICTR arising from any of the cases at trial at every stage of the proceedings. The Information and Evidence Support Section (IESS) is the information and evidence storage facility of the OTP. All information and material collected during investigations and which may be potentially used as evidence in a case were placed under the custody of the IESS for storage, management and easy retrieval.
As of November 2014, nine of the 93 individuals originally indicted by the ICTR continue to evade justice. The fugitives include Félicien Kabuga, Protais Mpiranya and Augustin Bizimana. The tracking of these individuals is now being pursued by the Office of the Prosecutor of the MICT to which the cases have been transferred. The cases of the six other fugitives were transferred to the jurisdiction of Rwanda. The track for fugitives is being carried out with the collaboration of INTERPOL and the US State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program and the award of up to $5,000,000 for information leading to their arrest and surrender.