Arusha, May 16, 2011(FH) - The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has denied the request by genocide-convict, Lieutenant Ildephonse Hategekimana, seeking cooperation and judicial assistance from Belgium and Canada to have access to information underpinning his sincerity.

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Hategekimana, who was sentenced to life imprisonment on December 6, 2010 for genocide, among other offences, had sought access to statements and testimony of certain prosecution witnesses from his trial that appeared before the Belgium and Canada's domestic courts in 2001 and 2007, respectively.

The Chamber, however, ruled that "materials sought by Hategekimana could have been obtained prior to the commencement of his trial on March 16, 2009. Hategekimana fails to provide any reason why he could not have discovered this material earlier in the exercise of due diligence."

In addition, the Chamber observed, apart from general submissions concerning relationship between his case and domestic proceedings in Belgium and Canada, Hategekimana, a former Rwandan military officer, could not show the failure to obtain the material had potential to result in a miscarriage of justice.

"Accordingly, the Appeals Chamber is not satisfied that Hategekimana has demonstrated the exceptional circumstances necessary to justify (its) intervention for investigative assistance at the appeal stage," it said in a decision made available to Hirondelle News Agency on Monday.

Other offences Hategekimana was convicted of are murder and rape as crimes against humanity. The former military officer was a commander of small military camp of Ngoma, in Butare (southern Rwanda) in 1994.

Hategekimana was arrested in Congo Brazzaville on February 16, 2003 and transferred to the UN-Detention Facility in Arusha three days later. His trial started on March 16, 2009.

The prosecution called 20 witnesses before concluding its case on May 4, 2009, while the defendant rested his case on October 7, 2009 after fielding same number of witnesses.


 © Hirondelle News Agency