SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE WITH OFFICIALS OF TRIBUNALS FOR RWANDA, FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE WITH OFFICIALS OF TRIBUNALS FOR RWANDA, FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
4429th Meeting (AM)
SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE WITH OFFICIALS
OF TRIBUNALS FOR RWANDA, FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda might not complete the trials of current detainees before the year 2007 if its present capacity of nine judges remained unchanged, Judge Navanethem Pillay, the Tribunal's President, told the Security Council this morning.
She said that if the judicial capacity was increased through the use of ad litem judges, and if the Prosecutor drastically revised her investigative programme, the Rwanda Tribunal could complete its work by 2007. She expressed concern that the passage of time might affect the quality of evidence and that long delays raised human rights concerns.
Judge Pillay said international judicial proceedings were far more complicated than those at the national level. Because of the alleged rank, status and roles of the accused, the trials took longer than those of suspects with lower levels of alleged responsibility. Other factors, she said, were the voluminous documents, translation, the large number of witnesses, interpretation of testimonies into French and English, ongoing investigations, and the availability of witnesses and defence counsel.
Claude Jorda, President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, said States must participate more in arresting and transferring major leaders indicted by the Tribunal so that it could go on prosecuting and trying them. Some military leaders and high-ranking officials still resided with total impunity in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, while others had taken refuge in the Republika Srpska.
Outlining four major reforms in the Tribunal, he said the first sought to expedite its proceedings, giving the judges a more active role in the pre-trial phase and the trial itself. The second sought to improve the organization and operations of the Appeals Chambers, the third was intended to provide the Tribunal with a genuine defence organ, and the fourth concerned the Tribunal's three bodies -- the Chambers, the Office of the Prosecutor, and the Registry.
Rwanda’s Minister of Justice, Jean de Dieu Mucyo, called for the transfer of the Tribunal to Rwanda, saying that the reasons put forth in 1994 for having the Court in Arusha were no longer valid. If the Tribunal were in Rwanda, it would reduce costs, particularly with regard to travel expenses.
The Minister called for strengthening of the Tribunal's work and for the establishment of a witness protection programme. He said the survivors of genocide should be compensated and should participate more fully in the actions of the Court. There should be justice for the accused, as well as for the victims.
Carla del Ponte, Prosecutor for the two Tribunals, said former Serbian Army commander Ratko Mladic was living in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under the official protection of the Yugoslav Army. The Army also continued to harbour, with the Federal Government's approval, the three accused indicted for crimes in Vukovar. The Federal authorities were doing everything possible to stop even limited cooperation by the Serbian authorities.
She said that while the transfer of Slobodan Milosevic was a groundbreaking event and a courageous step by the Serbian Government, cooperation at the federal level appeared blocked for domestic political reasons. The authorities of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Federation, on the other hand, had confirmed their commitment to cooperation by swiftly transferring four indicted senior Bosniac military staff to The Hague. The most problematic issue was cooperation with the Republika Srpska.
The representative of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia said cooperation was a two-way process, and it was important that the population in the region understand the significance of the Tribunal’s work. It should, therefore, make consistent efforts to explain its mission as a balanced and impartial one, and to maintain its role as a judicial mechanism for the determination of individual responsibility for crimes committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991.
He said there were attempts in current discussions to connect the Tribunal's cases to issues relating to State responsibility, which was completely outside the scope of its jurisdiction. Such an approach would neither help achieve wider reconciliation, nor improve relations within the region. The Prosecutor’s Office in Belgrade had full freedom of movement and the possibility to interviews victims and witnesses.
The representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina expressed disappointment that 26 publicly indicted war criminals remained at large. Those war criminals, particularly Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, were in a position to influence political and economic development, a sign that their political programmes based on “ethnically cleansed territories” were still alive.
In principle, he said, war criminals and terrorists were the same sort of people. Just as the anti-terrorist alliance had shown it was possible to organize coordinated action against terrorists, a similar alliance was needed more than ever in south-east Europe. Bosnia and Herzegovina was aware of plans to transfer United Nations-led activities to other regional organizations. The prosecution and trial of indicted war criminals in the region should continue to be the responsibility of the United Nations, he stressed.
(page 1b follows)
In an interactive dialogue following the briefings, many members stressed the need for the Tribunals to prosecute those primarily responsible for planning and organizing crimes against humanity. While national courts should try those who had carried out the plans, national judicial systems needed to be restored. Concern was expressed about when the courts would complete their work and over the planned increase in the number of defendants.
Some speakers felt the Council should be thinking about how States might be encouraged to increase their cooperation with the Tribunals, while others expressed a willingness to consider the proposal to create ad litem judges to alleviate the burden of the Rwanda Tribunal.
Participating in the interactive dialogue were the representatives of Singapore, Ireland, Norway, Colombia, Russian Federation, China, Tunisia, Mali, Mauritius, United Kingdom, France and Ukraine.
The meeting began at 10:20 a.m. and adjourned at 1:29 p.m.
The Security Council met this morning to hear briefings by the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Judge Claude Jorda (France), and the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Judge Navanethem Pillay (South Africa), on the work of the Tribunals during the last year. In statements to the General Assembly yesterday, the two judges presented their annual reports which summarized the achievements of the Tribunals and future projections for their work.
Report of International Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia
A note by the Secretary-General conveys the eighth annual report of the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991 (document A/56/532-S/2001/865). Covering the one-year period ending this past 31 July, the report states that the Tribunal focused during that time on implementing reforms for operations that the judges had proposed in May.
The report says the Tribunal increased its judicial activity at an unprecedented rate during the period. The highlight of the year was Security Council action to create a group of 27 ad litem judges, or those to be called upon in specific cases. The Council also created two additional seats on the Appeals Chamber, to be filled by judges from the International Tribunal for Rwanda. That external support was reinforced by reforms in three specific areas encompassing pre-trial activity, judges’ powers at trial and Tribunal organization.
According to the report, the Presiding Judge of the Appeals Chamber for both International Tribunals spearheaded the reform. Externally, he undertook intensive diplomatic activity, including liaison with the Security Council and organization of two diplomatic information seminars. Internally, he created a working group on reform and redefined the Tribunal’s policy concerning the creation of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in the Balkans. Internal reforms included measures to enhance cohesion between Tribunal organs so as to enable the Bureau to focus on judicial matters.
The report details those and other events to note that six new judges would be joining the Tribunal in November. Trial Chambers had been involved in 17 cases during the year, while the Appeals Chamber had dealt with 24 interlocutory appeals and 19 appeals on the merits. Three trial judgements and three appeals judgements had been rendered. Once the Office of the Prosecutor completed mass grave exhumations in Kosovo, seven trials were prosecuted, nine cases moved up to the pre-trial stage, five investigations moved to the indictment stage, and six post-judgement appeals were activated. A simultaneous reorganization of the Office and its reopening in Belgrade had ultimately led to the transfer of Slobodan Milosevic, former President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to the Tribunal.
The report states that the General Assembly approved a net amount of $96,443,900 for the Tribunal during the current calendar year, plus an additional $4,899,400 to cover the costs of six ad litem judges beginning work in September. Still, if the Tribunal is to double its judgement capacity and complete its mission by the year 2008, additional resources must be considered as an immediate priority.
Summarizing the findings, the report says the reforms provide the Tribunal with the resources to try all the accused being arrested by States, which are now more cooperative than ever. In the longer term, the reforms will help maintain peace and stability in the region, which will require the reconstruction of national identities. For that reason, the Tribunal is encouraging domestic courts and extrajudicial mechanisms of reconciliation to pick up the Tribunal’s work at the national level, even as the Tribunal streamlines its rules of procedure and evidence. The arrest of Slobodan Milosevic augured well for future cooperation, as a symbolic first moment in history when a State arrested a former head to be tried by an international tribunal.
Those hopes must not mask the fact that high-ranking figures who had been accused were still at large, the report warns. By their high offices and the gravity of their acts, those accused had destabilized international public law and order, and they were answerable to an international tribunal, the guarantor of human peace and security. However, even if the Tribunal tries those high-ranking officials, it will still have a limited scope of action in that it cannot try all those implicated during a five-year period, nor hear all the witnesses. It is also not for the Tribunal to analyse the causes of the war or to perform the work of memory for reconstructing a national identify. That was why the Tribunal was aiming to have its work picked up by domestic courts and by civil society initiatives designed to re-establish the civic bond. To that end, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Bosnia and Herzegovina should complement the Tribunal’s work.
Finally, annexes of the report contain tables of relevant information. Annex I lists the 30 indictments handed down by the Tribunal to a total of
69 indicted persons. Annex II gives the particulars of 40 persons detained at the United Nations Detention Unit, three of whom had been arrested, 19 detained by international forces, 12 voluntarily surrendered, five transferred by States,
and one released for the duration of the appeals process. Annex III lists the
26 persons indicted by the Tribunal, but remaining at large.
Report of International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
Another note by the Secretary-General (documents A/56/351-S/2001/863 and Corr.1) conveys the Report of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Genocide and Other Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of Rwanda and Rwandan Citizens Responsible for Genocide and Other Such Violations Committed in the Territory of Neighbouring States, between 1 January and 31 December 1994.
The note says that the work of the Tribunal has accelerated and its output multiplied. Six trials involving 15 accused were in progress during the period, with all three Trial Chambers actively engaged. The Trial Chambers have also ruled on a large volume of pre-trial and interlocutory motions. The Tribunal had 48 accused in custody, who are either currently being tried or are awaiting trial.
It is estimated that 136 new accused will be appearing before the Tribunal by 2005. If these projections materialize, the Tribunal’s workload will drastically increase, and it will not be able to complete these trials in a reasonable time while respecting the rights of the accused. Also, the cases of these suspects are expected to be factually and legally complex, which could result in lengthy trials.
The President, Judges and Registrar agreed that the number of Tribunal judges should be increased, and the President submitted a proposal in that
regard to the Secretary-General, to be forwarded to the Security Council for consideration. An amendment of the Tribunal’s Statute was proposed, so that a pool of 18 temporary (ad litem) judges could be created, with a maximum of nine judges at the seat of the Tribunal at any one time. Some of the temporary judges would form additional sections within the existing Trial Chambers to hear outstanding cases and attend to pre-trial and interlocutory matters. They could also substitute for judges unable to continue sitting in part-heard cases.
Besides its judicial work, the Tribunal is active in the process of reconciliation in Rwanda, by carrying out various outreach programmes. One of these distributes information to Rwandans about the Tribunal’s role, as it relates to the events of 1994 that led to the killing of hundreds of thousands of people. Several other initiatives are being considered, which will give Rwandans a chance to take part in the process and witness the perpetrators of atrocities being held accountable. These initiatives will continue to heal and reconcile the Rwandan nation.
Statement by President, Yugoslav Tribunal
CLAUDE JORDA, President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, said the period 2000-2001 had been marked by four major reforms in the Tribunal’s structure and operations. The first sought to expedite the proceedings, giving the judges a more active role in the pre-trial phase and the trial itself. The second reform, currently being implemented, sought to improve the organization and operations of the Appeals Chambers, which would soon be faced with a significant increase of their workload as a result of their expanding activities.
The purpose of the third reform was to provide the Tribunal with a genuine defence organ, he said. The fourth reform concerned the Tribunal's three organs -- the Chambers, the Office of the Prosecutor, and the Registry. A Coordination Council and a Management Committee had been instituted in January 2001 to facilitate closer cooperation in setting the judicial priorities and better management of resources. With the adoption of those reforms, the Tribunal’s judicial activity had increased.
As of September 2001, the first six ad litem judges had begun to serve in three new trials, he said. For the first time, the Tribunal was hearing four trials at once. As of January 2002, three new ad litem judges would be serving, making it possible for the Tribunal to double its trial capacity and to complete first instance proceedings by 2007, provided the accused continued to be arrested or to surrender voluntarily at a sustained rate.
He pointed out that the increase in judicial activity would not have been possible without closer cooperation from Member States, and their increased activity in arresting the accused and gathering evidence. The change of political regime in Croatia had resulted in enhanced cooperation with the Tribunal. Likewise, the arrest and transfer of Slobodan Milosevic to The Hague was a historic turning point in relations between the Tribunal and Serbia. Nonetheless, that new resolve must be continued for all the accused.
On the international scene, where other priorities were taking centre stage, in particular the fight against world terrorism, the Tribunal must, more than ever, accomplish its mission in an expeditious and exemplary fashion, he stressed. That was especially so, given that voices challenging its legitimacy and credibility, some dating back 10 years, were now beginning to make themselves heard.
He said that in order for the Tribunal to further focus its activity on prosecuting and trying the major military leaders and high-ranking officials, States must participate more in arresting and transferring them to The Hague. Some of them still resided with total impunity in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and others had taken refuge in the Republika Srpska.
Statement by President, Rwanda Tribunal
NAVANETHEM PILLAY, President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, said that since her last address a number of judicial, administrative and prosecutorial steps had been undertaken to prepare the ground for holding uninterrupted trials in the year 2001. Those endeavours included a change in management, the finalization of pre-trial litigation and disposing of the backlog of some 200 motions. As a result, there had been a significant increase in the number of trials. All Rwanda Tribunal judges were resident in Arusha and working full time. In the past, there had been periods when cases were unexpectedly delayed, or not ready for trial as anticipated, which had led to gaps in the work schedule of judges. That was no longer the case.
Judge Pillay outlined the status of current trials being conducted by Trial Chamber I, Trial Chamber II and Trial Chamber III. Noting that the Appeals Chamber had confirmed the decisions of the Trial Chambers, she said that was a significant endorsement that the trials were fair, and that the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt to sustain a conviction was being observed.
She said the question was being asked as to why the output of judgements was so low -– a single judgement this year and just eight in the four years since the trials started in 1997. She explained that judicial proceedings at the international level were far more complicated than those at the national level. The international court was reliant on many factors beyond its control. Cases at the Rwanda Tribunal were legally and factually complex because of the alleged rank, status and roles of the accused. The Prosecutor's strategy was focused on suspects alleged to have been in the highest positions of leadership and authority. Command responsibility had to be established, and a far greater range of facts was at issue. Those trials took longer than the trials of accused with lower levels of alleged responsibility.
Other factors, she said, were the voluminous documents that needed to be disclosed to the parties, the translation of those documents, the large number of witnesses called to testify, the interpretation of testimonies into French and English, the ongoing investigations and the availability of witnesses and defence counsel. Simple communications that would take one hour in The Hague might take days in Arusha. On the other hand, the judges had taken measures to expedite proceedings. The Court was implementing greater control over the number of witnesses, the length of their testimony and duplication of evidence. Those measures had already had an effect, but there were limits to what could be achieved with the present three Trial Chambers. If the present capacity of nine judges remained unchanged, the Tribunal would not be able to complete trials of the current detainees before the year 2007. Meanwhile, the Prosecutor anticipated indicting up to 136 new accused by the year 2005.
If the judicial capacity was increased with ad litem judges, and if the Prosecutor drastically revised her investigative programme, the Tribunal could complete its work by 2007, she said. She hoped that the Council would approve her request for ad litem judges. It was important that the ad litem reform be decided as soon as possible to supplement the present trial capacity and to help with future indictments and arrests by the Prosecutor. She expressed concern that the passage of time might affect the quality of evidence and that long delays raised human rights concerns. The target date for completion of the Tribunal’s mandate should be 2007. Meanwhile, she urged that other avenues of justice be pursued, such as the encouragement of trials at the national level in jurisdictions where suspects were located.
CARLA DEL PONTE, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, said the Tribunals had not investigated all crimes, but had concentrated on the areas in which the worst massacres had occurred. But it had been established that both the genocide in Rwanda and the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia were highly organized criminal enterprises, centrally organized at the highest level and enthusiastically pursued at the regional and local levels.
Even at the command levels, that enterprise did not involve a mere handful of individuals, she stressed. From the thousands of significant targets, fewer than 200 had been selected in each Tribunal, and it was not expected that even all of those would be prosecuted. Many important crimes had, therefore, been left to national jurisdictions. In Rwanda’s traditional gacaca process, 11,000 local jurisdictions, involving 260,000 local judges, would be dealing over a three-year period with 120,000 perpetrators of the genocide, in which between 800,000 and a million people died in four months.
Underscoring the need to avoid polarizing the accused into big and small fish, she said a number of them under investigation by the Tribunals had played a very nasty role somewhere in between the two extremes. They had strong links to the central power base and were fully aware of the overall criminal enterprise, but they had also fervently put the plan into action in their areas and had blood on their own hands. In the former Yugoslavia, some of those individuals still occupied official functions and their activities were an obstacle to the peace process.
She said that while it might be thought that the world had moved on since
11 September, and that the issue of the day was terrorism rather than past conflicts, there was now all the more reason for the international community to pursue those responsible for genocide and crimes against humanity. It was neither credible nor honourable to support the war against terrorism, while not doing everything possible to bring to justice those responsible for genocide in Rwanda and Srebrenica. As with the fight against terrorism, there was no quick and low-cost solution.
While the Rwanda Tribunal was largely on course to meet its investigative targets, she said, those investigations would depend on the close cooperation of States, including Rwanda itself. One new area it would be addressing concerned allegations of crimes committed in 1994 by members of the Rwanda Popular Front forces. The Tribunal also intended to move away from its policy of sealed indictments in favour of greater circulation of open arrest warrants through Interpol and use of reward programmes for information leading to arrests. The Tribunal was particularly interested in the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and had begun to explore with the Kinshasa authorities whether suspects could be traced there.
The Yugoslavia Tribunal still did not enjoy full cooperation across the board in the former Yugoslavia, she noted. While the transfer of Slobodan Milosevic was a groundbreaking event and a courageous step by the Serbian Government, cooperation at the federal level appeared blocked for reasons of domestic politics. Despite their declarations, federal institutions obstructed the work of the Prosecutor’s Office. Access to documents, archives and witnesses was being denied under the pretext that it was not authorized by domestic legislation.
She said former Serbian Army commander Ratko Mladic was living in the country under the official protection of the Yugoslav Army, enjoying military immunity from both national and international justice. The Army also continued to harbour the three accused indicted of crimes in Vukovar with the approval of the Federal Government. Instead of clear, unambiguous support for the Government of Serbia, or a clear stand on support for the Tribunal, the federal authorities were doing everything possible to stop even limited cooperation by the Serbian authorities, who had been most helpful.
Turning to Bosnia and Herzegovina, she said the most problematic issue was still cooperation with the Republika Srpska. A law on cooperation had recently been passed and her Office was keen to see the concrete results of its implementation. As for the authorities of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Federation, they had confirmed their full commitment to cooperation by the swift transfer to The Hague of four indicted senior Bosniac military staff.
She concluded by appealing to the Council to insist on the arrest of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, saying their continuing liberty was an affront to its authority and mocked the entire process of international criminal justice. Serious resolve to enforce the rule of law against those who committed genocide, crimes against humanity or terrorism, and prospects for long-term stability in the Balkans could not allow them to escape justice. There could be no meaningful talk about completion of the Yugoslav Tribunal’s mandate unless the two were brought to trial with the others in The Hague.
JEAN DE DIEU MUCYO, Minister of Justice of Rwanda, said that following the horrible events of 1994, many actions had been taken to promote the rule of law and to rebuild society on the basis of solidarity and justice. National reconciliation could not take place without justice. It was necessary to restore a society in which security prevailed. The Government had undertaken a new system of participatory justice based on Rwandan tradition, in which eyewitnesses could take part. He thanked all the countries that had helped Rwanda to strengthen its capacity and develop its justice programmes. He expressed the hope that the help would last.
He said the atrocities of 1994 constituted one of the darkest pages in history. If justice was not brought to Rwanda, no people would feel safe. Justice for Rwanda would be a triumph for human rights. He saluted the work of the Rwanda Tribunal, whose work must proceed and be strengthened. This was not the time to reduce its working capacity. He supported efforts to reorganize the court’s services, as well as the increased number of indictees, even though the number of indictments remained insufficient and a number of criminals still remained at large.
The Tribunal’s programme of information should reach the great majority of the population, perhaps by way of radio broadcast, he said. Also, the initiative to offer assistance to potential witnesses was important, and a witness protection programme should be established. In addition to their physical protection, however, their morale must be taken into account. Assistance was also needed for rape victims. Further, there should be greater vigilance in the choice of persons recruited for work in the Tribunals so as to avoid abuses in the area of honorariums.
The headquarters for the Tribunal should be in Rwanda, he said. The reasons put forth in 1994 for having the court in Arusha were no longer valid today. If the Tribunal were in Rwanda, it would reduce costs, particularly with regard to travel expenses and dispatch in getting witnesses to trials.
He went on to say that it was difficult to talk about justice and reconciliation without talking about compensation to the victims. The survivors of genocide should be compensated. They should also participate more fully in the actions of the court. Rwandans were a people who had been murdered and raped. There should be justice for the accused, but also justice for the victims. The criticism levelled at the Tribunal must be considered constructive criticism, not intended to denigrate persons who were courageously doing the work assigned to them.
DEJAN SAHOVIC (Yugoslavia) said that, on many occasions in past months, his Government had emphasized at the highest levels that cooperation with The Hague Tribunal was of crucial importance for Yugoslavia. His Government was making serious efforts, and had taken a number of concrete measures to enhance that cooperation. The transfer of Slobodan Milosevic to The Hague was one of those measures which had been widely recognized as a major development and a turning point. Cooperation with the Prosecutor’s Office in Belgrade was also proceeding well. The staff of the Office had full freedom of movement and the possibility of unimpeded discharge of its duties, including interviews with victims and witnesses.
It was very important now to begin work on formulating an internal legal framework aimed at facilitating cooperation with the Yugoslav Tribunal, he said. Cooperation was a process, and should be understood as such. It should also be understood that cooperation was a two-way process. For its success, it was important that the population in the region was informed about and understood the significance of the Tribunal’s work. Therefore, the Yugoslav Tribunal should make consistent efforts to explain its mission as a balanced and impartial one.
It was also extremely important to maintain the role of the Tribunal as a judicial mechanism for the determination of individual responsibility for crimes committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991, he said. There were some attempts in current discussions of the report of the Tribunal to connect its cases to issues related to State responsibility, which was completely outside the scope of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction. Such an approach was not helpful in efforts to achieve wider reconciliation, nor did it improve relations within the region.
MIRZA KUSLJUGIC (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that, for many people in his country, and especially for war crime victims, the Yugoslav Tribunal activities were the only hope that justice would be done. However, he was very disappointed and seriously concerned at the fact that 26 publicly indicted war criminals remained at large. Those war criminals, particularly Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, and many more in the region, were not only at large but also in a position to influence political and economic development. That was a sign that their political programmes based on “ethnically cleansed territories” were still alive. The extreme radical nationalists in the region had lost the last elections. They had temporarily hidden their wartime objectives, mainly because of international pressure and fear of the Tribunal’s activities. However, the fact that many of those who orchestrated ethnic cleansing had not been arrested meant the seeds for new conflicts and violence in the region remained.
The leading role of the international community in the arrests of already-indicted war criminals was of crucial importance, he added -- and proof of its credibility in the region. Its readiness to give highest priority to the arrests would further stress its commitment to universally accepted ethnic and moral values. In principle, war criminals and terrorists were the same sort of people. The anti-terrorist alliance had shown that it was possible to organize coordinated action against terrorists who used barbaric acts against innocent civilians to achieve their political objectives. A similar alliance, which would accompany the work of the Yugoslav Tribunal, incorporating local institutions and international organizations, was needed more than ever in south-east Europe.
There were many more suspected war criminals in the region who had to be prosecuted either by the Tribunal or by authorized national courts, he said. His Government welcomed the Tribunal’s initiative to have some of the cases processed by local judiciary structures, under the auspices of the Tribunal, suggesting that the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina should be the first institution in the country for delegating such a task. In addition, his delegation was aware that the United Nations was planning to conclude the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMBIH) by the end of next year and transfer United Nations-led activities to other regional organizations. The prosecution and trial of indicted war criminals in the region should continue to be the responsibility of the United Nations.
KISHORE MAHBUBANI (Singapore) said the Council needed to reflect deeply on how the Tribunals were progressing. Unfortunately, the Council was a reflective institution and tended to function on automatic pilot. If the Council did not pass judgement on the two institutions, it would be the court of public opinion that would do so. In the corridors of the United Nations, there was some bewilderment about the rate of progress so far, in particular, why the rate of judgements had been so low. Would the Tribunals meet their goal of deterring genocidal leaders? For that to happen, justice had to be swift and effective or the deterrent impact would be lost. The arrest of Milosevic had had an impact on the entire world, but that had to be accompanied by arrests of other important leaders.
He asked what the long-term impact would be in terms of future decisions of the international community. When any suggestion was made to set up other criminal tribunals, the international community walked away. A great deal of attention would be paid to the costs of the current Tribunals, and he was pleased that seminars were taking place to review their efficiency. He hoped there would be changes in the way the courts were run. Also, with the improvement of domestic courts, it would take some of the load off the international courts. It was important to see that there was a fairer allocation of resources without compromising justice.
RICHARD RYAN (Ireland) said the work of the Tribunals was of central importance in the parallel quests for justice and national reconciliation. He looked forward to the development of the idea of spreading the work of the Tribunals. He agreed with the emphasis on maintaining balance between efficiency and the administration of justice. The appointment of ad litem judges might alleviate the work of the Rwanda Tribunal. He would like to hear more detail about finding alternative locations without interfering with the work of the Tribunals. Those were complex challenges with important implications.
WEGGER CHRISTIAN STROMMEN (Norway) said he had expressed appreciation for the accomplishments of the two Tribunals yesterday in the General Assembly. Accepting that the prosecutions in the Tribunals could not be compared to the prosecution of ordinary crimes, he asked if the full effect of existing measures had already been absorbed and if new measures were felt to be necessary.
He also asked for elaboration on the planned incorporation of the processes under Rwandan authorities after the mandate of the Rwanda Tribunal had been fulfilled. He welcomed improvements designed to bring the process closer to the civilian population, and asked for any details on further measures in that regard.
ALFONSO VALDIVIESO (Colombia) said the results of much hard work were in evidence before the Council. Efforts to reform the Yugoslav Tribunal were particularly useful. The trials in Rwanda should also go through a process of reform to make them more efficient, and he hoped the time had come to have new ad litem judges. Otherwise, he supported maintaining and furthering the current stage of investigation and judicial proceedings in Rwanda. Reconciliation could not occur unless impunity was tackled, he said.
He asked about the current status of the Commission on Truth and Reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, inquiring specifically about its relationship with the work of the Tribunal and about the nature of its international component. He also asked about the possibility of extending such a Commission to other areas.
He urged more reflection on improving the relationship with Belgrade in judicial matters, especially regarding the case of Mr. Milosevic. More progress in the application of justice had to be made at a political level. He asked whether improved coordination between the Tribunal, the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the Federal Government of Yugoslavia could improve judicial links at the political level.
SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said the lengthy existence of the Tribunals was becoming more and more difficult to support. His Government had made concrete proposals and was counting on the Council to come up with a consensus regarding the work of the Tribunals. Recently, the Rwanda Tribunal had increased its management capacity, but there remained a great deal to be done. He was studying the request for ad litem judges. He stressed the continued viability of the rule based on the Charter and on other international instruments, which placed the primary responsibility for the execution of justice on States. International criminal courts played an important but subsidiary role. At the current stage, the international community should strive for national involvement except in cases where States were not able to conduct trials independently. He expressed concern that the Prosecutor had set up a timetable for future arrests, and said that he doubted the legal validity of such plans.
Continuing, he said the Presidents of the Tribunals and the Prosecutor had talked about the need for further reliance on national systems. He hoped those plans would be transferred into actual steps. The Tribunals must try the leaders and not the subsidiary characters, and they should not go beyond their competence. Recently, all the States of the region covered by the Yugoslav Tribunal had been showing a readiness to cooperate.
He expressed concern that the Yugoslav Tribunal had not investigated the activities of figures now preparing to join the Government of Kosovo. He trusted that the Tribunal would increasingly rely on national court systems and would give greater attention to crimes on the territory of Kosovo.
SHEN GUOFENG (China) said Council resolutions had all emphasized the role of the Tribunals in fostering national reconciliation and the restoration of peace and security. Both Tribunals must keep those goals in sight when carrying out their work. He recalled that the Council had adopted resolution 1329 (2000) to amend the statutes of the Tribunals in order to create a pool of ad litem judges in the hope of completing all the trials in the year of 2007.
The efficiency of the Rwanda Tribunal was improving, but it was still overloaded with cases, he said. Increased capacity was for expediting the trials already under way. He expressed concern about the Prosecutor’s plan for further indictments, and hoped she would provide the Council with further information. He also hoped that the two Tribunals could enhance their efficiency. The Council should consider in what time frame the Tribunals could complete their work.
OTHMAN JERANDI (Tunisia) said the ideas put forward for increasing the capacity of the Tribunals were interesting, but all depended on increased cooperation by the States of the region. The Council should be thinking about how States might be encouraged to increase their cooperation with the Tribunals. He agreed with the proposal that national reconciliation committees should be established, but they should not usurp the Tribunal’s role of meting out justice. Judicial systems needed to be restored. Could that take place by the year 2007 in Yugoslavia? It would be dangerous if trials were to be prolonged unduly. All the accused should be brought to justice. The proposal to create ad litem judges to alleviate the burden of the Tribunal in Rwanda could be the right answer.
ISSOUF OUMAR MAIGA (Mali) said the International Criminal Tribunals were extremely important for ending the culture of impunity. They were also pioneer efforts for other similar procedures that might be imminent, for example, in Sierra Leone and Cambodia. In Rwanda, for the sake of peace in the region, justice must be served quickly and effectively, with necessary diligence. Ad litem judges were important for that purpose. He hoped that the Council would soon take decisions on that issue.
He welcomed the reform of the Yugoslav Tribunal. He was also impressed with the political changes in the Balkans that had allowed the groundbreaking trial of Mr. Milosevic. However, he said, other indicted criminals had not been apprehended; he called upon all States to give their full cooperation to achieve a lasting peace in the Balkans by bringing to justice all those accused of committing crimes against humanity on their territories. The Malian authorities were prepared to cooperate with the Rwanda Tribunal and to deal with the five people mentioned in the report.
He asked whether, after seven years, the headquarters of that Tribunal should not be transferred from Arusha to Kigali, to better serve the purposes of reconciliation. He also asked if it would not be timely to consider creating individual offices for the respective work of each of the Tribunals.
KHEMRAJ JINGREE (Mauritius) said that, given their historic responsibility, it was important for the Tribunals to function as effectively as possible. In Rwanda, he noted improvement in the Tribunal’s performance; however, its heavy workload was a concern. For that reason, he fully supported the use of ad litem judges to prevent further delays in its work. Developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo might add further to its workload, he said.
The Yugoslav Tribunal had demonstrated its seriousness and all States should cooperate with it, he said. Careful consideration should also be given to the new national reconciliation processes in the area, the judicial process for Sierra Leone, and the further development of the International Criminal Court for all such situations.
STEWART ELDON (United Kingdom) said his Government was strongly committed to both Tribunals, and they could expect its continued support. He was impressed by the reform process and the efforts to maximize the use of resources. That needed to be a continuing process, he said. He expressed concern about the escalating budget.
He said the Tribunal must remain focused on bringing the key perpetrators to justice. He noted that the indictment of Milosevic now included the charge of genocide. Calling attention to the efforts of the Prosecutor to establish good relations with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, he stressed the importance of States cooperating with the Tribunals.
He was encouraged that the ad litem judges in the Yugoslav Tribunal had made a good start, and expressed willingness to consider ad litem judges for the Rwanda court. Meanwhile, it was important to keep thinking about the exit strategy for the Tribunals, while ensuring that there was no diminution of their commitment to the execution of justice. He emphasized that the Tribunals must concentrate on the main perpetrators. Moreover, they should and must be seen to be taking an interest in current events.
YVES DOUTRIAUX (France) said the reforms being implemented made it possible to speed the work of the Tribunal. Those reforms were essential, but in and of themselves they were not enough. It was important that the States concerned cooperate with the Court. There had been progress in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia, but the issue remained of concern with regard to Bosnia and Herzegovina. If it was to complete its work, the Yugoslav Tribunal should focus on those charged with conceiving and plotting crimes, he said, while those who actually carried out the crimes should be referred to national tribunals. How did the Prosecutor envisage the distribution of tasks with local tribunals? he asked.
Regarding the Rwanda Tribunal, he expressed concern that only one judgement had been handed down. He expected greater progress, although he recognized that certain difficulties existed. It would be appropriate to assess the tangible effect of the reforms and see to what extent other reforms, especially changes in procedure, might help to speed the work of the Tribunals.
OLEH HERASYMENKO (Ukraine) noted with satisfaction the results of the reform process in the Yugoslav Tribunal. It had an important role to play in bringing peace to the former Yugoslavia, particularly through strengthening the local legal structure. In that regard, and considering the fact that the Tribunal would not be able to deal with all relevant cases, some of those should be picked up by national courts. Monitoring would assure the fairness of trials. The domestic courts could, in that way, relieve the workload of the Tribunal and allow it to focus on the most important cases. He asked how the domestic courts could be encouraged and enabled to perform that work.
Judge JORDA said there had been overall agreement on a number of points made. The ad hoc tribunal was not a permanent one, and in accordance with resolution 1329 (2000) only those primarily responsible should be prosecuted by the Tribunals. It would not be possible for the Tribunals to indict all those with blood on their hands. It would be a good idea to pass some of the cases to domestic courts, and perhaps a method to help the Tribunals achieve that could be devised. He had suggested that a Council working group be created to deal with all the questions raised, particularly the role of local jurisdiction. The Council and the Tribunal should know what the status of local jurisdictions was, as well as the status of the judicial system in relevant countries.
He said that many representatives had asked about the programme to heighten the awareness of the people of Yugoslavia about the work of the Tribunal. The programme was a complete one that dealt with the media to spread information. In the past, however, cooperation with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had been practically non-existent. The current hindrance to developing programmes for the mass media was a lack of resources.
He said that when the establishment of truth and justice councils was discussed, there was a reluctance to become involved with new tribunals. Nevertheless, they were part of the overall picture. They had emerged as a kind of rival to the Tribunals, but in fact there was no rivalry.
Judge PILLAY, in response to the question about whether the Rwanda Tribunal would be in a position to use ad litem judges and finish its work in 2007, said she had a plan in which those elements had been constructively worked out. If the Tribunal had ad litem judges by April, it could try five new cases and would be able to complete the trials of current detainees by the year 2004. New trials would be completed in 2007. The judges were committed to ensuring that the ad litem reform was used to the fullest extent.
Concerning the impact of reform measures, she said that while the judges had accepted many measures to expedite the trials, they had to be careful not to compromise fairness. She said the Tribunal needed more court translators. Six hundred radio broadcasts had to be translated into French or English, but they did not have translators who could translate directly into English. Statements must be translated from the local language into French and then into English. Reform measures were a continuing process, and the Tribunal would continue to address them. If they could take judicial notice of widespread killings, that would narrow the cases on the docket. At the same time, the trials had not only to be fair, but they had to be perceived to be fair. With regard to moving the headquarters of the Tribunal, she said there was some concern about the security situation in Rwanda.
She said the information office set up in Rwanda functioned in Kigali alone. More could be done if the Tribunal received the kind of outreach funds the Yugoslav Tribunal had received. That would enable the Tribunal to spread its information work much further.
Judge DEL PONTE said doubts had been expressed as to whether the
136 suspects before the Rwanda Tribunal were major perpetrators. Yet, according to information from the Government of Rwanda, it had more than 2,800 accused organizers and planners in custody. Because some of the suspects on the Tribunal’s list had died and others had disappeared, it was possible that it would get very few indictments, perhaps 100.
As far as national courts were concerned, she said Rwanda still had the death penalty, and more than 2,000 suspects held there could not go through the traditional gacaca system. Moving proceedings to Rwanda would raise the problem of extradition, because most of the accused were abroad. However, it would be very positive if the Tribunal's proceedings could be transferred to Kigali.
Regarding the division of labour between the Yugoslav Tribunal and local jurisdictions, she said that would necessitate prerequisites that had not been fulfilled, including the protection of witnesses and judicial independence. It was up to the international community to facilitate independent judiciaries in the former Yugoslavia. Of the more than 8,000 suspects before the Tribunal, the investigations were dealing with 108 in accordance with the Tribunal's mandate.
* *** *