State helps U.N. get servers, thin clients

State helps U.N. get servers, thin clients

State attorney Pierre Prosper says encryption on the new servers will help prosecutors use data processing.

Department arranges a donation by IBM to meet the systems needs of war crimes tribunals

By Frank Tiboni

GCN Staff

The State Department recently helped coordinate a $3.5 million systems donation to the United Nations' tribunals that are prosecuting war crimes in Kosovo and Rwanda.

The international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda this month will get IBM AS/400e 170 and 720 servers loaded with case management software to support the tribunals' criminal investigations. The legal offices will also receive thin-client terminals for end users, said Pierre Prosper, State's special counsel to the ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues.

The systems will help tribunal prosecutors gather, store, and analyze data and images relating to evidence, interviews, crime scene maps and other components of their investigations, said Prosper, who helps set U.S. policy and responses to wartime atrocities in Africa.

Sealed envelopes

"We used to hand carry documents to the chief prosecutor in The Hague because there was no way of securing the process", Prosper said. "The encryption level of the servers will facilitate the process and increase the rate of the processing of information and the prosecution of war crimes."

The U.N. Security Council's five permanent members United States, Great Britain, France, Russia and China created the Yugoslav tribunal in 1993 and the Rwanda tribunal in 1994 because of serious violations of humanitarian law during civil wars in the Balkans and Rwanda, Prosper said.

A former lawyer for the Rwanda tribunal, Prosper successfully prosecuted its first case. He convicted Jean Paul Akayesu, the former mayor of Taba, Rwanda, for orchestrating the murders of at least 2,000 Rwandans. Akayesu is serving a life sentence in a U.N. War Crimes Tribunal prison.

State helped make the systems donation possible by bringing together IBM and the United Nations, as well as publicly endorsing the project. The department is also helping arrange a special export approval for the servers because of their 128-bit encryption capability, which requires the OK of agencies from the White House to the Pentagon, Prosper said.

The systems will be useful for the tribunals, which have a full docket of murder, rape and torture cases. There have been 45 people indicted in Rwanda, with 38 in custody, and 81 indicted in the Balkans, with 31 in custody, he said.

The Rwanda tribunal, which has offices in Kigali, Rwanda, and Arusha, Tanzania, will get a dual-processor AS/400e 170 running OS/400 Version 4 Release 4. The AS/400 has two 333-MHz Netfinity 7000 processors, eight 256M banks of RAM and nine 8G hard drives, said Michael Johnson, chairman of the board of directors for the Criminal Justice Resource Center.

Johnson started the Concord, N.H., center in 1997 after he and a group of U.S. prosecutors assisted Justice Louise Arbour of Canada, chief of the Yugoslav tribunal's Office of the Prosecutor.

The Yugoslav tribunal, at the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands, will get a dual-processor AS/400e 720 also running OS/400. The server has two 333-MHz Netfinity PCI processors, 22 256M banks of RAM, two 128M banks of RAM and 29 8G hard drives, Johnson said.

The AS/400e 720 has full cryptographic processing with 128-bit encryption.

The tribunal will use 50 IBM thin-client terminals to tap applications on the AS/400e, he said.

The tribunal intends to utilize the technology in part to integrate the communications within the tribunal between prosecutors, judges, defenders, the jail and administration, Johnson said.

The tribunal's servers will also come loaded with three other packages:

' Compu-Color, Compu-Capture and Compu-Sketch. The imaging software from Digital Descriptor Systems Inc. of Langhorne, Pa., permits the transfer and storage of photographic images within a database. It also has a crime scene feature that lets investigators diagram a crime.

' Public Safety and Justice System. The software from HTE of Lake Mary, Fla., provides data management and integration for evidence collection, prosecution case load, judicial case load and scheduling, jail management and defense case management.

' Formation mg. The software from Formation mg of Irvine, Calif., supports the electronic transfer of documents.

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