Tribunal's official rejects misconduct charges, says he's scapegoat
Jan. 10, 1997
ARUSHA, Tanzania (AP) _ The chief administrator for the Rwandan genocide tribunal today denied allegations of misconduct and favoritism, saying he is being blamed for problems beyond his control.
Andronico Adede, the registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, said the allegations were unproven, ``totally unnecesary'' and intended to distract attention from the first U.N. trial stemming from the slaughter of 500,000 people in Rwanda.
The trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu was to resume later today with testimony from three witnesses that the prosecution claims will prove Akayesu's involvement in the deaths of 2,000 Tutsis in April 1994 in the village of Taba, where he was mayor.
Akayesu is one of seven genocide suspects in custody here. Twenty-one have been indicted. Of those, eight are at large, four are expected to be transferred from Cameroon to Arusha within weeks and two others are in the United States and Switzerland.
But the tribunal, set up in 1995 following the 100-day 1994 genocide, has been plagued by terrible communications and a shortage of staff and funds. It is now facing an internal U.N. investigation.
The New York Times reported Thursday that the two-month investigation, the results of which have not been made public, cites allegations of hiring unqualified relatives and friends of tribunal staff, discrimination against non-Africans, unauthorized use of resources and delays in disbursing funds.
The report, which mentions Adede and deputy prosecutor Honore Rakotomanana of Madagascar, has shocked staff of the tribunal, located in the concrete Arusha conference center in remote northern Tanzania.
``I've done my best to fulfill the mandate of the tribunal,'' Adede, a Kenyan, told reporters. ``I refuse to fail.''
He rejected claims that he is responsible for mismanagement, and said the real reason the tribunal has not accomplished more is the failure of U.N. headquarters in New York to provide him with sufficient resources.
``I came to set up my office (in November 1995), with indictments under my arms, no secretary, no lawyer, no office _ nothing,'' he said. ``I had no phone on my desk, and I called myself a tribunal.''
``My first legal officer arrived last January. There are four of them now, compared to 30 working in the Yugoslav tribunal,'' he said, referring to the war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands.
He also said he is isolated from Kigali, the Rwandan capital where the investigative arm of the tribunal is located, because of bad roads and communications.
In December, U.N. inspector general Karl Paschke completed a two-month investigation of the tribunal. He has refused to comment on the report until it has been reviewed by senior U.N. officials.
Fred Eckhard, spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said his boss was disturbed by reports of mismanagement within the tribunal and plans ``decisive action.''
He said that as a result of Paschke's preliminary findings, a new acting chief of administration was sent to the tribunal last month and a new personnel director would be assigned shortly.
Adede admitted to delaying some appointments, but said he was only following U.N. rules.
Critical of the tribunal's slow pace, Rwanda's current Tutsi-led government has gone ahead with its own trials. A court sentenced two Hutu men to death last week in the country's first efforts to punish those responsible for the genocide. They were given 14 days to appeal. More than 85,000 other suspects are crammed into Rwandan prisons awaiting trial.