Kigali, September 29, 2010 (FH) - The official closure of Gacaca trials has been postponed sine die, Executive Secretary of the National Service of Gacaca Jurisdictions (NSGJ) Domitille Mukantaganzwa told Hirondelle News agency on Tuesday.

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After being delayed several times, the official closure ceremony and the release of a final report on function of the court had been set for September.

This new postponement would allow examination of numerous requests made by different institutions after the trials ended in July.

"Our priority is not to wind up the whole process but to administer fair justice", Domitille Mukantaganzwa explained.

"We intend to meet all the institutions to which people submitted their requests and decide after reviewing the cases if new trials need to be organized.

"It would be pretentious to assert that judgments rendered by Gacaca courts were perfect", she admitted.

Requests were notably addressed to the Presidency of the Republic, to the Ministry of Justice, to the Ombudsman Office and to the National Commission for Human Rights.

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. They have tried about 1.25 million persons.


© Hirondelle News Agency