Lisa P. Nathan: So, I have a question about the request from foreign countries for information about, h-, do those requests come directly to you? Can you give, provide an example of how that works? How you decide...?
Typically that would be addressed to the prosecutor and it comes to us from the prosecutor. And normally it, it will go to the prosecutor who will request for information which should be then passed on to the Chief of Prosecutions and the Chief of Prosecutions will have us do the necessary.
And we would package the material and the Chief of Prosecutions – we, what normally, what that entails is we would look through to see confidential information and all that, and then tag the material according to the levels of confidentiality. It might be there are materials covered by a court order, we can’t even release that unless the authority is willing to go before the chamber to ask for a, a waiver.
And so, what we would do is then classify according to the levels of confidentiality and the conditions a-, applied and return to the Chief of Prosecutions and the Chief of Prosecutions makes the final decision and the material is, you know, then forwarded to the authorities.
And sometimes they come here. They bring in their investigators. They come here. We’ve received people from, from many jurisdictions from across the world especially Europe, fr-, from Belgium, from the Netherlands, Finland, and so we’ve, we’ve had a few people . . .
. . . investigators here.
LPN: I’m sorry. Do you receive other requests from other types of people in different roles for information, requests for information, say the public? Would they come to –?
That’s been few and far between actually, because we’ve had re-, requests for tapes of Radio Rwanda and RTLM. I think that’s because the more public materials are available even in Rwanda and in Umuzanzu, in Umuzanzu, but the most, you know, we’ve been approached for the tapes of Radio Rwanda RTLM by students who are doing, a student who was doing research and now I, I still have, I, I just received another request on Radio Rwanda RTLM, yes. That’s the – but it’s very, very, very small, yes.
LPN: Okay. So you’ve been working here for a number of years and in your role for just over a year here as the, the Chief of Information and Evidence. Before I ask any more questions, is there anything you’d like to tell us, to tell the future about your job or about the tribunal?
LPN: Okay, so then in your role currently, can you reflect on some of the challenges of your role and describe some of those?
The challenges of my role. I think the first challenge would just be the imperative of the moment, you know. The, the, the, that’s, m-, m-, a, a lot of our work is directed by the tempo of the court. So, when we have something coming from the courts, it becomes imperative, everybody’s direct focused. It makes long term planning almost impossible.
And it becomes something you have to do from time to time because you’re busy on a daily basis; one day one crisis and so you’re just driven by that. And sometimes you just have to force yourself to say, you know, there are other things that are, you know, more systematic, more long-term that you need, you need to be planning on, you know.
Plus we service over a 100 attorneys and when they want something each attorney wants what he wants now. So if you say, “Can that wait 10 minutes while I service B?” It’s like “No, no, no I want it now.” So, that’s, that’s, that’s, that’s a challenge because you, you still need as a section to have some type of focused systematic planning so that the, the tension is always difficult to, to manage, you know. That would be the big challenge that I find.
And the other challenge would also be the, the, the fact that just funding, the two year cycle of funding. You might have problems, you may have find a litigation support software that you want to be able to use now and the, the UN cycle is two years. So you plan two years ahead – and I don’t know how many people plan two years ahead – you plan two years ahead and it’s always difficult to predict with certainty what you needed.
But that, I think we’ve been lucky because we’ve had the EU supporting us in information management. So that has taken the stress off a lot of the inability to respond to our environment the way we would like to because we have to plan, you know, like a bu-, bureaucratic set up and at the same time you have in between time, you know, things that are, are, are more pressing and you want to do now. Then you ask and say, “Well you didn’t put this in your budget.”
LPN: Can you tell me more about the EU support?
Yes, the EU supports the Office of the Prosecutor in, in two areas: they supported – well that I’m sure there are other areas across the tribunal but since I’ve been here we receive support in, we receive support in capacity building for the Pr-, Office of the Prosecutor, for the Investigations Division.
That was – the, the fund itself was during the time of my predecessor, Maria Warren. But after I came, during my time, we were able to re-write the fund, re-write the conditions to do capacity building not just for investigations division but for prosecutions and appeals. And that’s also again that’s as a result of a shift in instit-, institutional mandate because we went from full blown investigations to now prosecutions and appeals.
And we just thought then that the focus was going away from investigations; we weren’t doing many investigations so it was more important that we equip the prosecutions and appeals division. So, we re-wrote the grant to, to focus on, on prosecutions and appeals and I got the approval. I mean, I think that was the first thing I did actually and I got the approval and so we were able to do capacity building for prosecutions and a-, appeals in addition to the invest-, to investigations.
The other way they support us, which I said I was grateful for, is information management, information security and management. And tha-, in that we’ve been able to purchase additional software, we’ve been able to have training. The training that we’ve had with the EU people has been from that fund so it’s been very helpful that we, we, we had that. It’s allowed us to respond to our environment more, more quickly than the regular budget would have allowed us to.