The Sarajevo Information Centre on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was opened today at the City Hall by the Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka and Gabrielle McIntyre and the former judge at the ICTY Fausto Pocar.

„The establishment of the Information Centre on the International Criminal Tribunal and promotion of their legacy is a project of historic significance for the City of Sarajevo and the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Centre is a one more step closer towards truth and justice; confronting the past; developing peace and reconciliation“, stressed Mayor Skaka.

The mandate of the Information Centre Sarajevo is to provide updated, direct and secure electronic access to the public documents of the International Criminal Tribunal and archive material contained in ICTY’s online databases. The Centre is located in the City Hall and it will operate as a separate organisational unit within the Sarajevo City Administration. The public, researchers, students, the academic community, media and all interested citizens will be able to search the entire ICTY’s electronic archive with the assistance of the Sarajevo City Administration’s expert personnel, using modern IT equipment.

What is more, from now on the visitors at the City Hall will be able to visit the permanent exhibition of the original courtroom of the ICTY. The courtroom which the Mechanism, as the legal successor of the ICTY, has donated to the City of Sarajevo, will also be used by law students during practical lessons.

The audience was addressed by Ivo Komšić, Chairman of the Mayor’s Council for the Information Centre, who said that the Centre should serve as a unique place in this part of Europe where academic research of war crimes will be done from the legal, historical, sociological, philosophical, politological and psychological aspects.

The ICTY was a pioneering institution and the first international criminal tribunal of the modern age, which showed that accountability for the tragic events and horrendous crimes committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia in the nineties is possible” stressed Gabrielle McIntyre in her address.

On this occasion, Mayor Skaka presented the recognitions for special contribution to the establishment of the Information Centre to the former mayors of Sarajevo Semiha Borovac and Ivo Komšić, former judge of the ICTY Fausto Pocar and the current President of the Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunals judge Theodor Meron. The recognitions were also awarded to the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to BiH H.E. Amelia Achmad Yani, heads of Sarajevo municipalities Centar and Novi Grad: Nedžad Ajnadžić and Semir Efendić and president of the Unicredit Bank Administration Dalibor Ćubela.

The Information Centre opening ceremony, which was held simultaneously with the exhibition “The Siege of Sarajevo as Seen through the Rulings of the ICTY”, was attended by a high delegation of the Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunals, the legal successor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), as well as the representatives of the executive, legal and judicial government in BiH, the international community, and the association of war crimes victims.