Minister Kitt announces financial support for new War Crimes Chamber in Bosnia
The Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tom Kitt, T.D., announced today that the Government have approved a contribution of €200,000 for the establishment of a specialised war crimes chamber in the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The establishment of the war crimes chamber will ensure that persons accused of violations of international humanitarian law during the conflict in Bosnia can be tried in Bosnia. At present, all such proceedings take place in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague. The establishment of the chamber is being overseen by a task force co-chaired by the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia, Lord Ashdown, and the Ministry of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Ireland's contribution is being pledged today by the Ambassador to the Netherlands, Mr. Richard Townsend, at a donors' conference organised by the Office of the High Representative at the headquarters of ICTY in the Hague. It is expected that pledges by the international community for the first two years of the new war crimes chamber will be in the region of €15 million.
Minister Kitt stated today:
“Ireland has been a strong supporter of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia since its establishment by the UN Security Council in 1993. The creation of the war crimes chamber in Sarajevo is an important step in the building of institutions of justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It confirms the progress already being made by the Bosnian authorities on respect for human rights and the rule of law, and I hope it will contribute to the reconciliation process following the horrors of the conflict in the 1990s.”