05.11.07 - RWANDA/ICTR - RWANDA REAFFIRMES THE INDEPENDENCE OF ITS JUDICIAL SYSTEM

  Arusha, 5 November 2007 (FH) - The special representative for the Rwandan government to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Aloys Mutabingwa, refuted the remarks of Amnesty International according to which Rwandan justice, to where the ICTR plans to transfer some accused, would not be impartial, in an interview with the Hirondelle agency.
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"It is propaganda and it is disappointing on behalf of an organization like Amnesty International; our conventional courts have already tried in complete independence around 10 000 defendants", declared the diplomat.
 
"They delivered, in full impartiality, convictions and acquittals; the concerns of Amnesty International are not justified", he continued.
 
The prosecutor of the ICTR, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, requested that the judges of the international tribunal transfer four accused to Rwanda. The motions are still before the chambers designated for this purpose.
 
"These cases (if they are transferred to Rwandan courts) will be tried in the greatest transparency. Any person, any organization, including Amnesty International, will be able to follow the happenings", assured Mutabingwa.
 
"And do not forget that the ICTR has the right to cancel a transfer decision and take a case away from a country if it estimates that the procedure does not answer the criteria of a fair trial", continued Mutabingwa.
 
The diplomat finally insisted on the experience of Rwandan courts in what relates to the trials in connection with the 1994 genocide.

Amnesty International asked Friday, in an official statement, not to transfer any case to Kigali, as long as "all the criteria necessary to a fair and impartial trial are not met".
 
Amnesty International's request was addressed not only to the ICTR but also to the countries which, during the last few months, have received from the Rwandan government transfer requests for suspects residing on their territory, including France and the United Kingdom.
 
ER/PB/MM

© Hirondelle News Agency