7 June 2012 - Security Council - ICTY/ICTR - Statement by Mrs Béatrice Le Fraper du Hellen, Counsellor for legal issues for the permanent mission of France to the United Nations
I would of course like to thank the Presidents
and the Prosecutors of the International Residual
Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals and the Tribunals for
their reports (see S/2012/354 and S/2012/349).
With respect to the International Criminal Tribunal
for Rwanda (ICTR), the President and the Prosecutor
have described the considerable efforts that were made
in recent months by the entire staff of the Tribunal to
complete the trials under way. We thank them for that.
We would specifically like to highlight two key points,
namely, the preservation of evidence and the referral of
cases to national courts. With regard to the preservation
of evidence under rule 71 bis of the rules of procedure, we
are extremely pleased to see that this will help to support
the proceedings against the three fugitives — Félicien
Kabuga, Augustin Bizimana and Protais Mpiranya — in
the event that they are arrested one day.
With regard to the referral of cases to national
jurisdictions, we believe that this is in fact an important
element in the current transition. We thank the President
and the Prosecutor of the Tribunal for having come to
France in order to take stock, under French jurisdiction,
of the cases of Bucyibaruta and Munyeshyaka. French
authorities would like to assure the Tribunal that they
are giving those two cases the full attention they require.
There are two concerns that remain, particularly in
terms of cooperation. The Prosecutor just spoke of the
issue of arresting fugitives. We note that he has reiterated
a desire for increased cooperation from Kenya and
Zimbabwe, respectively, in the cases of arresting Félicien
Kabuga and Protais Mpiranya. Cooperation from all
parties with the ICTR is obviously a requirement under
Council resolutions. It would perhaps be important that
the Council remind the various parties of that obligation.
The second key point with regard to assistance to
the Tribunals is that of relocating persons acquitted by
the Tribunals or those who have served their sentences
after having been convicted. France is hosting several
individuals at the request of the Tribunals, and we
encourage — as the Tribunals and certain delegations
here present have done — other States to consider
hosting on their territory the persons concerned.
Lastly, on the issue of the ICTR, I wish to underscore
that France will, of course, support the extension of the
mandates of the judges and the President that has been
submitted to us by Mr. Vagn Joensen.
France is fully aware of the challenges facing the
Tribunals at this time. For example, we are asking the
ICTY not only to move forward towards the Residual
Mechanism but also to deal with very important cases
such as Mladić and Karadžić. We wish to underscore
that nothing should be done that could undermine the
capacity of the ICTY to ensure that justice is done in
such serious cases.
In terms of cooperation with the ICTY in
particular, questions remain, now that we have heard
Mr. Brammertz’s report, as to the reasons for the very
long period of time that elapsed prior to the arrests of
Mr. Karadžić and Mr. Mladić. In addition, in general
terms the low level of cooperation among the States of
the region with respect to the prosecution of mid-level
criminals is of concern. The members of the European
Union believe that cooperation with the ICTY and
regional cooperation continue to be important.
Lastly, I would also like to echo fully the comments
made by Prosecutor Brammertz and recall here that
the ICTY has held that the Srebrenica massacre was
an instance of genocide, and that this decision of
international criminal justice, as well as the duty of
respect for the victims, is binding on us all.
In conclusion, I should like to thank Guatemala,
in its capacity as Chair of the Informal Working
Group on International Tribunals, the representatives
of the Tribunals and the Office of Legal Affairs of the
Secretariat for the efforts made to meet the transition
timetable set out in resolution 1966 (2010) and ensure
the smooth functioning of the Residual Mechanism.