Kigali, 5 December 2007 (FH) - The main Rwandan association of genocide survivors, IBUKA, deplores, in an interview with the Hirondelle agency, the quality of the judgments currently rendered by the semi-traditional gacaca courts.

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"All concerns are with the official end of the gacaca courts scheduled for 31 December. All seem more concerned by the speed than the quality of the judgments ", worries Mr. Dieudonné Kayitare, head of the legal department within IBUKA. In a Hirondelle interview, the executive secretary of gacacas, Mrs. Domitille Mukantaganzwa, made it clear that additional delays might be granted.

According to the Ibuka official, since the extension of the gacaca courts to all the administrative sectors of the country, his association has not ceased to denounce the partiality of certain inyangamugayo judges, the role of some of them during the genocide, the interference of certain authorities in the trials, to protect relatives or themselves, the problem of corruption and more.

According to him, the situation worsened with the introduction, in July 2007, of several seats in the courts in the sector level in order to accelerate the closure in December, with the corollary, the camouflage of all these imperfections.

Mr. Kayitare bases himself on a recent report by his association which denounces the repeated amendments to the organic law on gacacas, the instructions of the National Service of Gacaca Courts (SNJG) and the decrees of the government on the matter: thus the lightening of the sentences by the revision of the suspect categories and the introduction of Work of General Interest (WGI) as an alternative sentence to the imprisonment. According to this bill, these reforms create, on one hand, interest, arrogance and impunity of the killer, and on the other, insecurity and anguish of "witnesses who lost all confidence in justice"

Thus, in a sector with at least 6 courts, the survivors and witnesses cannot be present at all the trials where they must testify. Although their summons can not be sent to them intentionally! Result: alleged authors of the genocide are acquitted, for lack of prosecution witnesses, specifies the aforementioned report.

According to the Ibuka jurist, only the SNJG could until now authorize the revision of the gacaca trials. The new instructions give, now, the authorization to the gacaca committees of the sectors, chaired by the presidents of the appellate courts. "How do you want someone to authorize the revision of a trial that he himself tried or that he tries it differently? ", he asks.

© Hirondelle News Agency