Arusha, April 8, 2004 (FH) – The Association of Defence Lawyers (ADAD) practicing at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), have demanded that the mandate of the Tribunal be revised so as to be extended in time and to include crimes committed by all parties during the 1994 conflict “without ethnic discrimination”. In a statement released on Wednesday on the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, ADAD condemned the discriminatory attitude of the Office of the Prosecutor which according to them, “do not hold Rwandans brought to justice before the ICTR in equal terms”.

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“In the last 10 years it has only charged Rwandans of Hutu origins and not a single Tutsi. Yet it has been established that member of the RPF (Rwandese Patriotic Front, former rebel group now in power in Kigali) committed massacres both in Rwanda and in refugee camps in the former Zaire”, the lawyers wrote. ADAD demands that the mandate of the ICTR be extended to cover the period up to 1997 “so as to investigate massacres committed both in Rwanda and the former Zaire by the RPA (Rwandese Patriotic Army, armed wing of the RPF)”. They also demand that circumstances behind the April 6, 1994 shooting down of president Juvenal Habyarimana' s plane be brought to light. Habyarimana's death triggered the genocide. Results of investigations conducted by French judge Jean-Louis Bruguière which were leaked to the French daily Le Monde, accuse current Rwandan president Paul Kagame as the man behind the shooting. Kagame denies the allegations. The defence teams also regard that the prosecution is being pressurized and interfered with by the Kigali government. They also point out that they are not treated on equal terms by the administration as the prosecution. GA/CEKN/FH (DE''0408)