Arusha, December 7, 2010 (FH) -The president of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Judge Dennis Byron, has called upon the international community to urgently resolve the problem involving relocation of people who have been acquitted by the Tribunal.

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"Despite significant efforts by the registrar, three acquitted persons have still not been resettled and remain in safe houses in Arusha. If this problem is not dealt with in a comprehensive, long-term approach, the interests of justice and the rule of law will not be served," he told the UN Security Council on Monday.

Presenting his six monthly report on the ICTR completion strategy, the president cited an example of former Rwandan Transport Minister Andre Ntagerura, saying it has been four years after the confirmation of his acquittal by the Appeals Chamber.

Other genocide-acquittals staying in the safe house are former military officer, Brigadier General Gratien Kabiligi, who was freed in 2008 and a businessman Protais Zigiranyiraso, a brother-in-law of the late president Juvenal Habyarimana, who was cleared in 2009.

The president added that another similar issue which needed urgent attention involved convicted persons who have served their sentences. "These persons are in a legal vacuum, as we can currently see in one case. There will be many persons in this position in the coming years," he cautioned.

Earlier on the day, the Tribunal Acting Deputy Registrar, Pascal Besnier, had told the Hirondelle News Agency that western countries were hesitating to host genocide-acquittals as their presence may threaten public order. He pointed out, however, that the Tribunal was efficiently dealing with the matter.


© Hirondelle News Agency