Arusha, December 2, 2009 (FH) - The President and the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Justice Dennis Byron and Hassan Bubacar Jallow, are to present on Thursday their progress report to the UN Security Council.

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The Security Council has requested the ICTR to complete all legal proceedings at first instance by the end of 2010.

Eight trials involving ten defendants are currently ongoing. Five cases concerning sixteen accused are in the judgment drafting phase and two single-accused trials are scheduled to commence within the next months. Meanwhile, eleven accused are still on the run, most of them allegedly hiding in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (RDC).   

Among the ongoing trials, the case of three leaders of the former presidential party MRND is not expected to  be finalized before mid-2011.  

The Court is now hearing the witnesses of the second defendant, former Secretary-General of the MRND Joseph Nzirorera.   

Called "Karemera and al.", this trial started in September 2005 but was suspended for several months because of the illness of Joseph Karemera, one of the three accused. The Prosecution charges the defendants with crimes of genocide committed by members of the MRND, invoking the principle of "superior responsibility".   

Among the cases in judgment drafting phase, the Nyiramasuhuko et al. trial, also called Butare case, opened in June 2001 and is the longest in the history of International Justice. It involves six co-accused, amongst whom former Minister of Family and Women affairs Pauline Nyiramasuhuko and her son Arsène Shalom Ntahobali.  

The Chamber heard the closing arguments in April 2009. The Prosecution requested life sentences for the six defendants. The trial lasted for 726 days. Judgment delivery is expected in September 2010.  

In the two other joint trials, Bizimungu et al. and the so-called Military II case, judgment deliveries are expected between September and December 2010.  


© Hirondelle News Agency