Arusha, 14 April, 2008 (FH) - The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Mr Hassan Jallow, has appointed Mr Richard Karegyesa (49), a Senior Trial Attorney and Head of Trial Support Services in the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), as Acting Chief of Prosecutions, reports Hirondelle Agency.  

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Karegyesa replaces Ms Silvana Arbia, who left the Tribunal early April to assume the position of Registrar at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Ms Arbia was elected on 28 February 2008, by the judges of the Court for a five-year term, according to a press release issued Monday by the Prosecutor's office.

Karegyesa has been an attorney in OTP since January 1999. Prior to joining the Tribunal, he was in private legal practice in Uganda. He has served as an international law consultant to a number of national, regional and international organizations. He also taught law courses and was an external examiner at the Law Development Centre in Uganda.

Between 1983 and 1990, Karegyesa was a State Attorney in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Uganda where he was responsible for criminal prosecutions in the High Court and appeals in the Supreme Court.

He graduated with honours in law from Makerere University in 1982 and obtained his LLM degree from the University of London in 1987.

Ms Holo Makwaia, a Trial Attorney, will serve as head of the trial team in the "Butare" case, the largest and oldest case before the UN Court. The joint trial has six defendants, including the only woman indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, who was Minister for Family and Women Affairs during the 1994 slaughter. In the same trial is also charged her son, Shalom Ntahobali, who was an Interahamwe militia leader.

Ms Makwaia replaced Ms Arbia as head of the trial team. Ms Makwaia has been a prosecution counsel in the OTP since1998 and has participated in five trials that have already concluded.

Before joining the ICTR, Ms Makwaia served as Senior State Attorney in the Tanzanian Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs where she was responsible for prosecution of homicide and assault cases before the High Court of Tanzania. Ms Makwaia also worked as a researcher for Amnesty International in London and in Rwanda.

In 1991, she earned a law degree with honours, from the University of Dar es Salaam. She is a founding member of the Tanzania Women Lawyers Association which provides free legal advice to indigent women and children and advocates for legal reform.

The UN Court was established in November 1994 to try key suspects of the genocide. The tribunal has so far convicted 30 persons and acquitted five. Eleven trials are underway involving 27 accused.

The UN Security Council has directed the tribunal to close all first instance trials by end of the year and appeals by 2010.


© Hirondelle News Agency