(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia welcomes with gratitude the
British Government's offer to finance the construction of an interim courtroom
Following the announcement earlier today, by Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Robin Cook, that the British Government was offering 330,000 pounds sterling (approximately 1/2 million US dollars) to cover the costs of constructing an interim courtroom for the ICTY, the President of the Tribunal, Judge Antonio Cassese, has expressed his "heartfelt gratitude".
The Tribunal had estimated these costs to be approximately 1/2 million US dollars, and had already identified a suitable location within its premises. The necessary planning has already begun and the Tribunal is hoping that this facility will be available before the end of the year.
The new courtroom will be a smaller version of the main courtroom, to be used pending the construction of a second full-scale facility. When the Tribunal obtains funding for a permanent second courtroom, the smaller facility will still be needed for various other judicial proceedings.
Thanks to the British Government's offer, described by President Cassese as an "outstandingly generous gift", the Tribunal will have available an extremely necessary facility. This facility will enable the Tribunal to proceed with all the current and expected trials with a minimum of delay - which is a pre-requisite for the proper adjudication of the crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia, and for bringing justice to their victims.
On behalf of the Tribunal, President Cassese "commends the British Government for its unequivocal support of the ICTY in the discharge of its mandate and for making the enforcement of international humanitarian law a major aspect of its human rights policy."
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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