Kigali, April 12, 2010 (FH) - The Gacaca courts, which were created in 2001 as an attempt to try the bulk of Rwanda's genocide suspects, should wind up their proceedings by the end of June, according to an  official source.

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Several previous deadlines not having been met, the Executive Secretary of the National Service of Gacaca Jurisdictions (NSGJ) Domitille Mukantaganzwa, apprised Hirondelle News Agency of this new end of mission date.  She highlighted that 355 out of 416 administrative districts had already completed their trials and submitted their final reports.

"After the closing of the trials in all districts at the end of April, three months will be devoted to writing an overall final report. The official closure of the Gacaca trials at the national level is thus scheduled for June 30", Domitille Mukantaganzwa stated.

She added that two bills, one with respect to the end of the Gacaca jurisdiction, the other on the closing of the NSGJ will soon be submitted to the government.

The Gacaca courts, adapted from a form of Rwandan traditional justice, are tasked with trying suspected perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide which left some 800,000 people dead, according to the UN.   These village courts, whose judges are elected from the community, can hand down sentences up to life imprisonment, which is now the maximum penalty in Rwanda.


© Hirondelle News Agency