Lisa P. Nathan: So to think about your role in the future. Unfortunately it is likely that there will be other tribunals, maybe not ad hoc, there’s the ICC, but other tribunals that will have an office section very much like yours and people working in your role. What would you recommend for those people in their preparation or in the, the building of that section?
Well, I don’t know, I think sometimes 20/20 visions is so clear that you, it, it will be unfair to say that there’s something that should have been done that wasn’t done. And I think even the v-, the organization has evolved. It’s gone through a lot of stages. I mean now we have a vault where we secure documents.
We have put in place procedures to safeguard as a security of, of, of information. It wasn’t always like that at the beginning. I mean, if you think about it this way, when you come to a situation of crisis what do you do? What you’re doing is crisis management and so you’re not necessarily thinking in terms of what has to be done.
I mean if I’m sitting today here and I, I come in as Chief of Evidence at the time when there’s a vault, there are you know facilities – I, I was also lucky that I came in here when there was really nothing. And when there was no vault and documents came from the field, they were registered, there was one of the rooms in, in the Hotel Amahoro, you’ve been there.
So it used to be a hotel so they have bathrooms attached to each of the offices. And so, that was the most secure place to put the material while it is on transit to The Hague, you know. So there was one room that had, s-, what do you call it, these steel windows in which case, you know, it was a little bit secure.
So what you would do really, you know, there was a bathtub in there that was cleaned and so that you could put packages there for documents you know, because it was the only secure place you could find. So I would say if you have to do this again, think about how you’re going to store your information.
But, you know, I couldn’t have said that in 1995 or 1996. People were reacting to a crisis, they had to put together a bunch of investigators, send them out into the field. You know, the crime scene (___), even wasn’t the same any more, you know, it was just – it’s crisis thinking. And so the documents left – at that point in time the ICTR shared a prosecutor with ICTY.
So the ICTY had a vault so our documents went from Kigali to The Hague and if we had to use them they came back from The Hague. So that, for instance, I don’t think should happen if there’s another tribunal. But I couldn’t begin to condemn those who started a tribunal for not thinking about it because I think now I have the, I have a vantage viewpoint that just makes it unfair to do that.
LPN: Yes, and I’m not asking you to – to look to the future . . .
LPN: . . . and things that you would recommend that they think about . . .
LPN: . . . early on. And as far as the training and the background for someone in your role, or even just words of wisdom; you’re talking about a very crisis oriented even today in a way.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I think for anyone in my role, I would say that first, well, it doesn’t always happen that you learn from other people’s experience. People prefer to make their own mistakes but I think, I should think that if there was going to be this kind of institution in the future, that there is a template.
You shouldn’t have to start from the, from the very beginning. You should be able to (__) – I’m not saying take what ICTR does and conform to it. I’m saying look at what ICTR has done, look at how they got there and see what you can do, what you can adopt and what you really don’t want to implement. But nobody should be starting from zero point of view because I think that we’ve, we have done it.
The ICTR, Y has done it. So you can begin to have a template from which you can operate, even if the, it is the UN starting who’s their, their institution or let’s say it’s a, a country who wants to start a prosecutions of this type. There is a template that can serve as, as a starting point. And for anyone in my role I’ll, I’ll say that the first thing is: I think that I have a unique advantage because I worked as a case manager.
So I was in contact with the first level material. So by the time I became the Docs Control Officer I knew the material. And now as the Chief of Evidence I, you know, I have carried on, you know. So I think that from that perspective I, I am in tune with what is going on.
I mean if you brought somebody for instance who is just joining the inst-, institution from an information perspective, they probably would do the information perspective better than I would. But in terms of servicing I think that I had an advantage because I was very familiar with what I was working, w-, what I had to do. I knew the process I had to support, if you know what I mean, yes.