Arusha, May 5, 2011 (FH) - Justice Dennis Byron's term of office as President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), expires at the end of May, 2011, the Tribunal's Associate Information Officer, Danford Mpumilwa, told the Hirondelle News Agency, on Thursday.

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Judge Byron from St. Kitts and Nevis was elected to the post on May 22, 2007, succeeding the Norwegian Judge Eric Møse who was ICTR President since May 2003. Judge Byron (68) was re-elected for a second term as in May 2009.

He joined the ICTR in June 2004. Prior to his assignment at the UN Court, Byron served as Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. In 2002 he received the award of Knight Bachelor by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He began his career in private practice as a barrister in 1966.

After expiry of his contract with the ICTR, Judge Byron would head the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its new President following a decision made during the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government Inter-Sessional Summit in St. Georges, Grenada in March, 2011

Among famous cases he conduct at ICTR as Presiding Judge include that of top officials of the then Rwandan ruling Party, MRND, Matthieu Ngirumpatse, who was the President and his Vice-President, Edouard Karemera.

Ngirumpatse and Karemera are charged with seven counts including genocide, complicity in genocide, incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity, allegedly committed, mostly by members of their party, its youth wing, Interahamwe, in particular.

Presentation of evidence from both prosecution and defence in the case has already been concluded and closing arguments in the trial will be presented before the Tribunal starting August 22, 2011.

While carrying on with his new duties as CCJ President, Judge Byron will also be participating in drafting of judgement in the case involving Ngirumpatse and Karemera as what has been done by former ICTR Judge Joseph Asoka de Silva, currently Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, his home country.

Judge Asoka de Silva has been taking part in drafting judgment in the trial dubbed Military II involving former senior Rwandan military officials, General Augustin Bizimungu, General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, Major Francois-Xavier Nzuwonemeye and Captain Innocent Sagahutu, scheduled for delivery on May 17, 2011.


© Hirondelle News Agency