8295th Security Council Meeting: International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals

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27-Jun-2018 00:12:29
Security Council reappoints Serge Brammertz as prosecutor of International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, adopting Resolution 2422 (2018) at 8295th meeting.

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The Security Council decided today to re-appoint Serge Brammertz of Belgium as Prosecutor of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals for a term beginning on 1 July 2018 and ending on 30 June 2020.

By a vote of 14 in favour and none against, with 1 abstention, the Council adopted resolution 2422 (2018) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, underlining that States should cooperate fully with the Mechanism.

More precisely, the Council urged all States — especially those in which fugitives are suspected to be at large — to intensify their cooperation with, and render all necessary assistance to, the Mechanism, in particular to ensure the arrest and surrender of all remaining fugitives indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda as soon as possible.

Also by the text, the Council reiterated its request that the Mechanism report on its work every six months, and encouraged it to consider an appropriate solution to concerns expressed by some Member States about its approach to the early release of persons convicted by the Rwanda tribunal.

Francisco Tenya (Peru), sponsor of the resolution and Chair of the Council’s working group on international tribunals, spoke after the vote, underscoring the importance of maintaining Council unity in supporting the Residual Mechanism. He wished every success to its senior officials in discharging their weighty responsibility.

Council President Vassily A. Nebenzia (Russian Federation) said his delegation had abstained as it had done in the case of a similar text presented in 2016. The situation within the Residual Mechanism was far from cloudless, he explained, citing issues relating to its administration, staffing and approaches to justice. He called attention to the case of Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladić, saying he had repeatedly been denied release from detention for medical treatment in the Russian Federation despite exhaustive guarantees by that country. He said Mr. Mladić — sentenced to life imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in November 2017 for genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war — was fearful of the doctors from the United Nations detention unit and did not wish to comply with their prescribed course of treatment. Moreover, his lawyers had been prevented from being present during his medical visits, contrary to his wishes. Over three months, the defendant’s state of health had deteriorated seriously while medical staff were doing all they could to conceal their incompetence. He asked whether the judges of the Residual Mechanism were getting redacted information about Mr. Mladić’s health and whether they were aware of what such a scandalous situation might cause.

Marina Ivanović (Serbia), emphasizing that her country was fulfilling all its obligations to the Residual Mechanism, also called attention to Mr. Mladić’s medical care, describing it as inadequate. The Residual Mechanism had denied a request to release him temporarily for treatment despite guarantees from the Government of Serbia, while multiple requests by his family and defence team for information regarding his health had been rejected. Reminding the Council that 12 persons of Serbian nationality had died either during trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or in prison afterwards, she emphasized that human rights were universal and the provision of adequate health care was a question of basic human rights.

The Security Council created the Residual Mechanism on 22 December 2010, with one branch in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, inheriting the functions of the Rwanda tribunal, and the other, in The Hague, Netherlands, assuming the functions of the former Yugoslavia tribunal. The Council, through resolution 2269 (2016), had previously appointed Mr. Brammertz as Prosecutor of the Mechanism for a two-year term ending on 30 June 2018.

Today’s meeting began at 10:04 a.m. and ended at 10:17 a.m.
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