Arusha, 29 May 2009 (FH) - The President of International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Justice Dennis Byron, in a report to the United Nations, says that at least one trial-- that of the three leaders of the former presidential party (MRND) -- will not be completed by the end of the year, the deadline set by the Security Council to complete all first instance trials.

1 min 10Approximate reading time

Known as "Karemera Trial ‘' , the case which has been in progress since September 2005, involved the former President of the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND), Mathieu Ngirumpatse; the former Vice-President of the party, Edouard Karemera and the former Secretary-General, Joseph Nzirorera.

"The evidence phase of all first instance trials is projected to be finalized before the end of 2009, with the exception of the trial in Karemera et al.", underscored Judge Byron.

The president of the ICTR is waited next Thursday at the Security Council where he will present the assessment of the implementation of the completion strategy of the Tribunal.

In addition, Judge Byron does not exclude "possible delays" in the trials which should open in the last months of this year.

These delays could involve the continuation of certain trials into next year.

"For the rest, the Trial Chambers will focus in 2010 on the judgement drafting in all remaining cases", he said.   

At seven months from the theoretical end of the first instance trials, six cases involving 14 defendants are in the deliberation phase.

The closing arguments are awaited next month in the "Military II" case, which involves four officers.

In addition, five trials, including "Karemera et al.", are in the testimony phase.

Six defendants, including a lieutenant colonel who must be re-tried, and two former ministers, are still waiting to appear.


© Hirondelle News Agency