Summary: March 14, 2001: Fifth Committee Statement on agenda items 127 and 128 by Mr. Carl Magnus Nesser, Permanent Mission of Sweden on behalf of the European Union (New York)
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the European Union Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, the associated countries Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, as well as the EFTA country member of the EEA Liechtenstein, align themselves with this Statement.
First, the European Union would like to thank Mr Dileep Nair, Under Secretary General for Internal Oversight Services, for presenting the report of his services on the investigation into alleged fee-splitting arrangements between defence counsel and indigent detainees at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
The European Union has considered this report with great interest. The EU attaches a great importance to the follow up of these allegations of fee-splitting, which seem particularly troubling.
The will of the Tribunals to guarantee to all indicted persons the highest standards of justice and the best conditions to present their defence must not be abused and sidetracked by practices that constitute not only a blatant violation of the requirements of honesty, independence and integrity applicable to counsels, but also lead to the multiplication of frivolous or dilatory motions, whose sole purpose is to increase artificially the costs of defence and to delay the course of Justice. As for the accused, it is of course unacceptable that persons suspected of Genocide, crimes against Humanity and War crimes could profit from their detention to enrich themselves at the expense of the International Community.
The European Union notes that the OIOS enquiry and report are part of an effort undertaken early on by the Secretariat and the Tribunals to identify and put an end to these abuses. The EU takes note of steps taken by the Tribunals in this matter.
The European Union underlines that fee-splitting arrangements are closely linked to the status of indigence that the Tribunals recognise to the detainees. In this regard, the Union highlights the observation of OIOS that 8,5 million USD was expended in 1999 by the United Nations, i.e. by the Members States, and another 8,5 million was expended in 2000 in payment for defence fees for lead counsel, co-counsel, investigators and legal assistants, as well as for their expenses, although it is possible that some detainees or their families have the means to pay for legal defence.
The European Union take note of the conclusions and recommendations of OIOS, and also takes note of the observations of both Tribunals on these recommendations.
The European Union wishes the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to undertake the necessary steps to implement these recommendations.
I will now address the conditions of service of the ad litem judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
Mr. Chairman, I will be brief.
The European Union subscribes to the proposals of the Secretary General, modified to take into account the observations and recommendations of the Consultative Committee in paragraphs 7, 11, 12, 14 and 15 of its report A/55/806 of 23 February.
The European Union approves the recommendation of the ACABQ on the Secretary-General’s estimate of resource requirements.
I thank you.