27.02.08 - ICTR/RWANDA - RWANDAN JUDICIAL OFFICIALS TO ATTEND PROGRAMS AT UN GENOCIDE COURT

Arusha, 27 February, 2008(FH)-The Rwandan government and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) have agreed to establish attachment programs for Rwandan judicial officials to the UN tribunal.
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The special representative of Rwandan government to ICTR, Alloys Mutabingwa, told Hirondelle that the programme is planned to start in September this year.

" A memorandum of understanding will be signed very soon to that effect,'' he added.

The program was part of the ICTR's efforts to strengthen the Rwandan judiciary by providing a framework whereby Rwandan judicial professionals, specialized in various fields may be assigned to the tribunal's sections where their professional experience will be enhanced through practical work assignments.

The ICTR was also training Rwandans in different capacities in Kigali.

The Rwandan government has already asked the UN Tribunal to allow some of the suspects of the 1994 be tried in Kigali.

A landmark decision is expected to be issued by the UN Court in April over the suspects transfer and trial in Kigali.

The Prosecutor, Gambian-born Hassan Jallow, has filed motions before the UN Court to allow at least five suspects to be tried in Rwanda as part of efforts to meet the UN's completion deadline of first instance cases by December, 2008.

The UN tribunal was established in November 1994 to try key suspects of the 1994 slaughter. The UN has estimated that about 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in the April-July bloodbath.

The tribunal has so far completed 35 cases resulting in 30 convictions and five acquittals. Currently, eleven trials are in progresss involving 27 accused and ten others are awaiting the start of their trial.

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