03.06.10 - ICTR/KALIMANZIRA - APPEALS CHAMBER REJECTS POSTPONEMENT OF KALIMANZIRA'S APPEAL CASE

 

Arusha, June 03, 2010 (FH) - The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Tuesday rejected a request to postpone the appeal hearing  in the case of genocide-convict Callixte Kalimanzira, following the arrest of an American Professor, Peter Erlinder in Rwanda last week.

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The decision followed Kalimanzira's defence team motion filed on June 1, to the Appeals Chamber requesting postponement of the hearing sine die until the release of Professor Erlinder, who was arrested for allegedly negating genocide. The convict is defended by two French lawyers, Arthur Vercken and Anta Guissé.

The American lawyer had been in Kigali for a week to be part of the opposition leader Victoire Ingabire's defence team. The lady who is an opponent to President Paul Kagame's regime is charged with negation of genocide, collaboration to a terrorist organization and spreading ethnic division.

Erlinder, a Professor of Law is also the defence counsel for another genocide-convict Major Aloys Ntabakuze already sentenced by ICTR to life imprisonment on December 18, 2008 but now waiting for the hearing of his appeal case.

‘'The motion is manifestly without merit and Mr. Kalimanzira has failed to demonstrate how Mr. Erlinder's arrest in Rwanda impedes the ability of his counsel to fulfill their obligation to represent him,'' stated part of the decision signed by the Presiding Judge of the Appeals Chamber, Theodor Meron on June 2.

According to the ruling the motion was dismissed and the Appeals Court reiterated that the hearing of the appeal in this case would be held on June 14, as planned earlier.

NI/ER/GF

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