Rwanda: Cost of the ICTR to Reach $1 Billion By the End of 2007

Arusha — The court's spokesperson has transmitted a document to the Hirondelle Agency stating that the estimated cost of the ICTR, whose mission is to trace and judge the main criminals of the 1994 genocide, amounts to 1,032,692,000 USD between its creation in 1995 and 2007.

The ICTR has its headquarters in the small town of Arusha, Tanzania. A thousand employees are divided among the three branches of the tribunal: the chambers, the prosecutor's office and the registry. Originating from 85 different countries, they work for the most part in the jurisdiction's headquarters in Arusha.

Members of defence teams, who do not have the status of officials of the United Nations, are on the payroll of the Tribunal as well, as part of the free legal aid allocated to all impoverished detainees.

The ICTR's budget proceeds from UN member states' contributions. For the year 2006-2007, it amounts to approximately $ 250.5 millions. The budget for the previous year was of $ 230.5 millions

The ICTR was created following resolution 955 of the UN Security Council, adopted on November, 8th 1994. The first trial took place in January 1997.

27 alleged criminals have been judged since then. Among them are former state ministers and administrative officials.

The Rwandan government considers that this is not enough to justify the budget allotted to the tribunal.

During a press conference held in Kigali on Monday, Rwandan President Paul Kagame denounced the court for costing up to $ 1.5 billion and for delivering "less than 40 verdicts in "almost 11 years". The Rwandan State Secretary had previously announced that the ICTR had disposed of a $ 1.6 billion budget since it began.

The ICTR has detained 72 persons to date. 27 have been condemned, 16 of them to life imprisonment. The court is currently examining the cases of 27 other defendants, and 15 more men await the opening of their trials.

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