Arusha, 12 June, 2009 (FH) - President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Judge Dennis Byron, said Friday that the Tribunal's Appeal Chamber expects to continue until mid-2013.

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Speaking to the UN-ICTR staff in Arusha, President Byron sounded optimistic that the resolution that was being awaited would indicate that United Nations Security Council was aware that the work load of the Tribunal would go beyond 2010.

‘'I have reiterated our goal of completing the first instance by 2010 if no new cases are added to our workload, for example by new arrests. However, we expect the appeals to continue until mid-2013,'' he told the anxious UN staff.

According to Judge Byron, ICTR has submitted a two-year (2010-2011) budget expected to be approved by the Council, most likely next week.

He elaborated further that the same resolution would authorize the expansion of the Appeals Chamber by up to four judges, for both ICTR and its sister Tribunal, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

‘'Everyone expressed appreciation for our efforts to cope with our continuous high workload and to further improve the management of all stages of trials,'' Judge Byron added.

The mandate of the ICTR was earlier scheduled to end this December as directed by the UN Security Council.

ICTR was established by the Security Council to prosecute key suspects of the 1994 Rwanda genocide, which left over 800,000 people dead mostly ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.


© Hirondelle News Agency