The Sarajevo Information Centre on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) opened in the City Hall of the City of Sarajevo, with the support of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT). This is the first such information centre to be opened in the region of the former Yugoslavia.
Nearly 400,000 documents collected during the 20 years of the ICTY will be available to all who want to search the complete electronic archive of the Tribunal. The Information Center will allow access to verdicts, evidence, memories, testimonies and video footage displayed during the Hague Tribunal.
"If somebody had heard about certain events, crimes in a village, and wanted to see how it was proven in the Tribunal, they would face millions of documents which they would not be able to examine. That is why they need someone who will direct this information,” said Fausto Pocar, the former President of the ICT. “My idea is that they receive true information in this way, which will help true reconciliation in the country," said Fausto Pocar.
The ICTY is the first international criminal court to prove that accountability is possible for the tragic events and horrific crimes that took place in the territory of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, said the Head of the Cabinet and Principal Legal Advisor at MICT, Gabrielle McIntyre.
“Not only is this Information Centre designed to give visitors direct access to documents and other materials drawn from the Tribunal’s proceedings and the opportunity to experience first-hand one of the ICTY’s courtrooms, but it does all of that here, in the heart of some of the communities most affected by its work, inviting each visitor to ask questions, to weigh arguments and information, and to reach his or her own conclusions,” McIntyre explained.
Visitors to the City Hall will be able to see the original courtroom of the Hague Tribunal, Courtroom 2, which the Mechanism, as the legal successor of the Hague Tribunal, donated to the City of Sarajevo.
The Centre will also be at the disposal of students for their practical tuition. The Information Centre is a platform for a number of educational and scientific research activities, Sarajevo Mayor Abdulah Skaka said.