Arusha, The Hague, 14 June 2022– The President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), Judge Carmel Agius, today presented the Mechanism’s twentieth progress report, as well as its fourth review report, to the United Nations Security Council (Council).
In addressing the Council, President Agius noted the significant progress accomplished during the reporting period, despite enormous challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic. The President also observed that, on account of this progress, the Mechanism is already operating in a way that is markedly different from only a few years ago and it is far closer to realising the Council’s vision of the Mechanism as a small and temporary institution.
President Agius emphasised the Mechanism’s substantial reduction of judicial workload in recent years, and he reported that following the delivery of the appeal judgement in the Fatuma et al. case later this month, there will be only two main cases left. In this regard, the President explained that the Stanišić and Simatović appellate proceedings remain on track to be completed by June 2023, while in the Kabuga case the Trial Chamber issued its decision yesterday concerning the accused’s fitness to stand trial and commencement of proceedings accordingly.
President Agius then turned to progress in other areas, underscoring the major recent advances in the tracking of fugitives of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Notwithstanding these positive results, President Agius reported that certain setbacks remain. In this respect, the President addressed the Council on the situation of the ICTR acquitted and released persons, noting that “the binding agreement signed between the United Nations and Niger to relocate these persons onto Niger’s territory has not been honoured”. Furthermore, in the contempt case against Petar Jojić and Vjerica Radeta, the President referred to “Serbia’s ongoing failure to fulfil the international obligations imposed on all States by this Council in Resolution 1966 (2010).”
In concluding his final address to the Council before he steps down as Mechanism President at the end of this month, President Agius expressed his gratitude to all States, stakeholders and individuals who have stood alongside the Mechanism in the quest for justice, including his fellow Principals, Judges and its dedicated staff members.