Arusha,2 September, 2008(FH) - The Special Representative of Rwandan Government to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR),  Alloys Mutabingwa, has criticized the last week's Appeals Court judgement over former Commander of Non-Commissioned(ESO) College Tharcisse Muvunyi, saying that it lacked coherence with its past decisions.

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"There is obvious failure of the Appeals Chamber to be consistent in its decisions, particularly on its failure to enhance coherence with the Court's previous decisions," he told Hirondelle Agency, elaborating that for example in 2005 the Appeals Court rejected the prosecution's motion to seek cure to the indictment, and again is the same Court raising finger over the indictment defects.

"It remains a record of failure to define the constitutive elements of the charge of superior responsibility,'' he added, noting that most of the alleged crimes committed by ESO soldiers in Butare, southern Rwanda, were ordered by accused during the 1994 genocide.

The Appeals Chamber quashed Muvunyi's 25-year-sentence imposed by the lower court and ordered a partial re-trial of his address at the Gikore Trade Centre.

Disagreeing with the Gikore ruling, Mutabingwa explained the Appeals Chamber has unlimited access to the Court's records from which it would have studied the Gikore incident and thus should have made its own finding instead of vaguely ordering a re-trial.

He asked:" It is confusing as to whether it means that the Trial Chamber should re-write a more reasoned opinion on the Gikore or whether it means going through the hussle of re-calling same witnesses to state same words and parties to repeat same arguments? Or whether fresh evidence will be permissible in the circumstances?''

The Rwandan representative was also concerned that a re-trial meant more time and resources, adding:"This signifies the unlimited level of unconsciousness of the Appeals Chamber to the need to abide by Security Council Resolution 1503 requiring the Tribunal to wind up".

The Chamber presided by Appeals Court President, Fausto Pocar, granted most of the motions of Muvunyi on grounds that the indictment was devoid of precision and lacked material facts supporting prosecution charges.

The Chamber has ordered that the accused, who has already been in detention for over eight years, be remanded in the UN Custody pending his re-trial. The Registry has yet to announce a date for the re-trial.


© Hirondelle News Agency