Arusha, November 29, 2010 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has rescinded  protective measures granted to two of its witnesses in order to help French judges to investigate the role of former Rwandan Army officer, Captain Pascal Simbikangwa, in the 1994 genocide.

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The two witnesses had testified under protected names of XXC and AAA in the trial called Military I involving, among others, Col. Théoneste Bagosora, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for genocide.

"The Appeals Chamber varies the protective measures granted to the witnesses XXC and AAA in Bagosora et al case for the purpose of disclosing their confidential statements, transcripts and other relevant documents to the French judicial authorities," it said in its decision published in the ICTR website.

However, according to the decision, only witness XXC was ready to testify under his real identity as he has consented to the complete lifting of his protected status. For witness AAA, the waiver of protected measures was only to the relevant French authorities and the parties to the case.

The prosecution had also applied for waiver of protective measures of another witness DCB to help the French judges in their investigations in alleged role of Agathe Habyarimana, former Rwandan First Lady and Eugène Rwamucyo, a doctor, in genocide.

However, the Appeals Chamber ruled that it was not convinced the witness's variation measures would be appropriate. "Witness DCB does not consent to the disclosure of his confidential documents to the French authorities or to testify in open court under his name in French proceedings," the Chamber noted.

In September 2010, the Tribunal rescinded protective measures enjoyed by witness who had testified under code name of FAE to help French judges in their investigations against Juvénal Habyarimana's widow and Eugène Rwamucyo. The witness had shown willingness to testify under her real identity.

On October 16, 2009, two French investigative judges, Fabienne Pous and Michèle Ganascia, met the ICTR Chief Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow in order to get help in investigation of cases concerning Rwandan suspects implicated in the 1994 genocide.


© Hirondelle News Agency