Arusha, 17 October 2008 (FH) - The UN-backed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) expects to deliver judgements against 38 accused persons in next 14 months before it winds up its work, according to the Court's President, Justice Dennis Byron.

1 min 21Approximate reading time

Presenting its 13th annual report to the UN General Assembly in New York on Monday, ICTR President said that since July 2007 to date, the four trial courts have issued more than 400 interlocutory and pre-trial decisions, adding that evidence phase of seven accused has been completed. Currently, there are 13 accused awaiting judgements. He said Trials involving 15 accused are in progress.

"In addition as a result of the recent Appeals Chamber's decision upholding the denial to transfer case of Yusuf Munyakazi (businessman) to Rwanda, this case along with the cases Gaspard Kanyarukiga [businessman], Ildenphonse Hategekimana [former Commander of Ngoma Camp, and Jean Baptiste Gatete [ex-Mayor] may now have to be added to the Tribunal's workload making the total for adjudication, 38 cases [accused]."

Meanwhile, a Rwandan convicted for false testimony before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (TPIR) could return before ICTR as a prosecution witness in the trial of a lawyer charged for contempt of court.

Designated by the code name "GAA" to protect his identity, this witness, sentenced last year to nine months after pleading guilty, was released in March after serving his sentence.

According to a motion filed by the prosecutor, a copy of which Hirondelle Agency obtained Wednesday, GAA, the only person to date convicted for false testimony, was on the prosecution's witness list in the not yet opened trial of Leonidas Nshogoza of Bar of Kigali.

In another development, the Rwandan government considers that refusal of ICTR to transfer certain cases to Rwanda is a way of putting a "fait accompli" before the UN Security Council, which gave to the Tribunal until the end of next year to finish the first instance trials.

Last week, the ICTR Appeals Chamber confirmed rejection of prosecutor's motion requesting transfer before the Rwandan court of a former businessman, Yussuf Munyakazi, 73.

Three trials-Butare, Military II and Karemera-will resume next week after short recess.


© Hirondelle News Agency