Arusha, June 10, 2010 (FH) - The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has dismissed the application for postponement of hearing of appeal by former Kigali Governor, Colonel Tharcisse Renzaho, who was sentence to life imprisonment for genocide.

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In its decision dated June 7, 2010, the Appeals Chamber said Renzaho would not suffer prejudice from proceedings with the appeal hearing as scheduled for June 16.

"The Appeals Chamber further notes that it has the discretion to request additional written submissions or oral arguments should it deem necessary after the hearing of the appeal," it said.

Renzaho had applied for suspension of appeal hearing pending adjudication of his motions, one he termed as "motion investigation" on fairness of the proceedings. He also claimed some important documents to the appeal were not translated and he had not received French translation of respondent's brief.

He submitted further that his defence team had other professional obligations with his lead counsel having an important hearing in Paris on June 16, while his co-counsel would be before the Extraordinary Chambers in Cambodia Courts.

The Appeals Chamber, however, did not find decisions to be given in the motions would be necessary in the appeal and noted that Renzaho had been provided with the required translated documents.

On the question of representation, the Appeals Chamber recalled that a counsel in a case before the Tribunal was required to give absolute priority his commitments to the Tribunal.

"Other professional commitments should not have any bearing on responsibilities of counsel towards their client and Tribunal. The Appeals Chamber does not find the defence team's difficulties in preparing and attending appeal hearing constitute good cause for delaying," it ruled.

The ICTR Trial Chamber I convicted Renzaho on July 14, 2009 of genocide, murder and rape. He was found guilty of participating in the attack at Sainte-Famille Church in Kigali where over 100 Tutsis were killed, arming the notorious interahamwe militia and failure to intervene when army tanks fired upon Tutsi houses, causing multiple deaths.


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