Kigali, April 24, 2007 (FH) – The Rwandan semi-traditional Gacaca courts today are in the process of making adjustments to allow themselves to finish their work by the end of 2007, it was learned from an official source in the Gacaca courts.
“Because of the number of cases that have still not been decided, certain changes are necessary in order to finish by December 31, 2007.” Also, judicial texts have been revised, the number of cases in session fixed to 150 and looting cases are being sent for mediation, explained Mr. Denys Bikesha, director of the Training and Mobilization unit for the Gacaca courts to the Hirondelle Agency.
According to the official, “Certain major handicaps are or will be worked around, thus the transport of detainees towards all sectors and comprehensive confessions where we are leading a large awareness-raising campaign.”
With regard to the list of crimes of genocide, 818,564 cases have been prepared, including 77,269 in the first category of politicians and planners, 432,557 in the 2nd category of executors and 308,738 cases of looting.
Until now 71,405 cases have been heard, verdicts have been rendered in 64,800 and remain for 6,605. There have been intended acquittals for 15,219 while 7,200 verdicts have been appealed.
Such a short extension despite the number of cases which have still not been heard is justified, according to Bikesha, because of the risk of forgetting witnesses who often do not know how to write, by the fact that days in Gacaca paralyze other activities, and finally because each case that still has not been decided means continued insecurity for survivors and witnesses.
But the system anticipates being flexible for courts which still have cases to try or later cases, he assured the Hirondelle Agency.
© Hirondelle News Agency