The Memorandum of Understanding between the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the City of Sarajevo was presented today at the Hall of Ceremonies in the Sarajevo City Hall in the presence of many media representatives.
The Memorandum will be the basis for the establishment of the Sarajevo Information Centre, which will provide updated, direct and secure electronic access to the public records of the ICTY and archive materials contained in online data basis of the ICTY. The Centre will also have educational, research, museum, archive and publishing purposes.
After greeting the guests the Mayor of Sarajevo Ivo Komšić said that through the establishment of this centre, the City of Sarajevo intends to give a tangible contribution to facing up to the past, peace building and reconciliation.
„This is a historical moment for our city and country because we will be getting one of the most important archives, enabling us to establish the truth about the events which took place in the 1990s. Without that truth we cannot build peace and stability of our country that is to say better future“ said Mayor Komšić.
The Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia Mr. Fausto Pocar stressed the importance of today’s event.
“There is still a lot of work to be done until the Centre is established, but the important thing is that the materials which were gathered for twenty years will be accessible to the public, and not just to researchers and historians”, said Pocar, adding that people who were directly affected by the war will have access to the records and be able to see not just the actual final judgements from the material, but also the memories and testimonies of people talking about the truth and what had really happened.”
Judge Pocar said that for now this will be the only centre, however the idea is to open several similar centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region – Croatia and Serbia. He also said that one centre will be opened in Srebrenica.
The spokesman of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia Nenad Golčevski said that the users of the first Information Centre, which will be established in Sarajevo, will have access to over 400 000 documents from court cases tried before the Tribunal.
“Those records are a direct testimony of the crimes and they include more than 3 000 video footage made at the time the crimes were committed. They also contain photographs made at that time, artefacts, items found at the crime scenes, mass graves etc.” stressed Golčevski.