John McKay: So as, as the Chief of, of Evidence, you’ve, you’ve probably been able to determine whether some investigators are better than others at their work. I know in my experience as a prosecutor we know who the good investigators are and, and over time you, you make those conclusions. Were you able to do that? Were you able to say, “Oh this comes from a certain person who is an investigator and their work is very good,” or “their work is very bad?” Is that, does that kind of conversation happen here at all?
Well it happens on more subjective, a more subjective level because I think – why it is difficult to actually say, say that one way or the other is even the structure. When this office started, I think – and it, it goes more (___), to people who are new in the organization, who’ve just joined the ICTR, are the people who are likely to come in and make these kind of judgments you’re talking about.
“Who the heck wrote this investigator’s notes . . . who the heck took this statement, what were they thinking of?” But if you’ve been here for long and you know the conditions under which people operated at the time, they weren’t looking for anything in particular. You see they came in to a place where there had been a lot of killings.
They weren’t looking for anything in particu-, you see what I’m saying? Now if you go out into the field, you have a pretty, a pretty good idea. You know, the case, there’s jurisprudence all over the place, for instance, for some crime scenes, for how the events unfolded so the way you investigate is different. For people who were just unleashed into Kigali and who went all over the place asking questions, the clarity that we have now is not there.
So that is – there used to – the, the, the judgment about this good investigator, bad investigator tends to come from people who’ve just joined the organization. And of course I think also the difference in the legal tradition from which the lawyers are coming from; the civil law, the common law, the tension even amongst the lawyers is also there amongst the investigators in the way they in-, they, they set out to investigate. So that’s more like an institutional thing than a personal, than a personal thing.
Do you hear people say “Oh this investigator is lazy, I went out with him,” and you, you, you hear that. It’s an institution. And it’s also a, it’s also a, what do you call it, it’s, it’s, it’s also a bureaucracy in itself. So we don’t always operate at the same optimum level. So you hear those things, but since you don’t supervise the person, I for one, I don’t supervise the person, so it’s a judgment I don’t like to make.
Plus if it’s an old investigator who was here in 1994, ninety, in 1996/1997 and somebody took the statement and said, “This is a very hopeless investigator, all his statements are useless.” Even if I don’t say anything, I can see where the investigator was sitting when he took those statements, you see. So I think – that’s, that’s generally been my experience of, of the investigative work here.
JM: Did you – over this time did you develop any heroes among investigators or prosecutors? I know that seems like a strange question but, but people who you said “I admire their work.” And I’m not asking you to name them . . .
JM: . . . but were there people who you felt overcame great odds and, and produced great work that you admired?
Definitely, you, you find out that even in terms of commitment, you know, that we’re not all at the same level of commitment. I mean and then you, you tend to find out that some people put more into preparing their work than others. Sometimes it’s just management skills that would affect, you know, the, your delivery.
So you tend to find out “Oh this person’s team is very organized, they are very tight you know, they work together very well as a team.” Or you tend to see “Oh this team, this person came here looking for this yesterday. Somebody else is here looking for the same thing, how do they operate?” Yeah.
JM: When you look back on your time here at ICTR when it’s all done and you’re talking with your children and maybe your grandchildren, will you, will you think of anyone in particular as someone who overcame great odds; either an investigator or a prosecutor or someone that you’ve worked with and can you give us an example of that?
Actually, I, that’s (___), that’s the first time I’ve thought about that question at least in that detail. Yes I do know an attorney. I, I have an attorney in my mind who’s done, who I think has done a lot of cases with a lot of commitment, and with a lot of flair. Yeah, I w-, definitely yeah.