Arusha, 27 August, 2008(FH)-The five-man experts team established to propose on the future of the archives of the UN-backed Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and for Rwanda (ICTR) is expected to be ready with their report by end of next month, reports Hirondelle Agency.

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The team, chaired by the former ICTY and ICTR Prosecutor, Justice Richard Goldstone, is currently finalizing its findings after having consulted various experts and sources. The team last week visited Rwanda and later Arusha, which is the seat of the ICTR.

"We're in final stages of our report," Tanzanian Judge Othman Chande, a former Chief of ICTR Prosecutions and ex-Prosecutor of East Timor UN administration, told Hirondelle Agency Wednesday.

The experts committee is expected to provide the ICTY and ICTR with an independent analysis of how best to ensure future accessibility of the archives and propose different locations that may be appropriate for housing the sensitive materials, composed of an extremely large records, testimonies and several tens of thousands of hours of videotaped courtroom proceedings(ICTR alone has about 45,000 hours of video recording) --in a manner in which their security and preservation can be protected.

The many benefits of uses for the archives include their role to facilitate ongoing and future prosecutions; serve as a historic record, as well as contribute to peace and reconciliation in the regions.

"The work of the independent committee is crucial for the preservation of the legacy of the two tribunals and for the victims, as well as for the future for international criminal justice'', said Justice Goldstone when commencing its work in October, last year.

The other members of the team are: Professor Dr Eric Ketelaar, a former national archivist of Netherlands and Cecile Aptel, a former member of both the ICTY and ICTR. They are specifically dealing with the ICTY.

The ICTR-related team is made of Professor Dr Saliou Mbaye, a former national archivist of Senegal and Judge Chande.

The study was commissioned on behalf of the Tribunals by the two Registrars, Adama Dieng (ICTR) and Hans Holthuis (ICTY).

The UN Security Council had directed ICTR to complete all pending trials by end of December, 2008. However, the tribunal has requested for an additional one year to smoothly wrap up the cases. The ICTY is expected to wind up all first instance trials by end of next year.


© Hirondelle News Agency