Arusha, 12 May, 2009 (FH)-The Rwanda Bar members are attending in Kigali a week-long seminar on criminal law organized in collaboration with the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), reports Hirondelle Agency.

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The workshop's objective was to increase capacity of the Rwandan judiciary and was part of the tribunal's completion strategy as Kigali still remains primary destination for 1994 genocide suspects when the UN Court shuts down.

The UN Security Council has directed that all first instance trials be completed by end of this year.

A similar workshop was conducted in 2007.

Rwanda has requested that trials be transferred to Kigali when the Tribunal closes.

The ICTR Prosecutor, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, has repeatedly said that when Rwanda was ready to host the trials he would file new motions for transfers. Five transfer motions were rejected by the UN Chambers last year.

Addressing the members of Rwandan Bar, a Senior Legal Officer, Roland Adjovi, said the transfer of cases will be decided by a judicial decision.

Among topics to be tackled include genocide and crimes against humanity, command responsibility, joint criminal enterprise, war crimes, ICTR jurisprudence on referral of cases, international criminal law in Rwandan criminal law and update on ICTR completion and residual issues.

Others are: Evidence and standard of proof of cases, disclosure and impartiality, fair trials before international courts and defences in international criminal law, among others.

The workshop is funded by the European Union (EU).

ICTR was established in November, 1994 to try key suspects of genocide, which according to UN estimates, claimed lives of about 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

The UN court has so far convicted 38 persons and acquitted six.


© Hirondelle News Agency