Arusha, May 24, 2011(FH) -The President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Judge Dennis Byron, has assigned four judges of Trial Chambers to the Appeals Chamber of the UN-backed Tribunal.

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They are Pakistan Judge Khalida Rachid Khan, William Sekule from Tanzania, Judge Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar and Russian's Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov.

President Byron announced in a statement he issued Monday that the assignments of the four judges shall take effect from the date on which their respective cases are completed.

Judge Khan is presently assigned to a joint Bizimungu et al trial commonly referred to Government II case involving four former interim government ministers during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

They are Jerome Bicamumpaka (Foreign Affairs), Casimir Bizimungu (Health), Justin Mugenzi (Commerce) and Prosper Mugiraneza (Civil Service), currently waiting delivery of judgement.

Judges Sekule and Ramarason are handling another joint trial commonly known as Butare trial comprising six accused, including former Rwandan Minister for Women and Family Affairs, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko. The only woman indicted at ICTR and her co-accused are also waiting delivery of judgment in their case.

Sekule also presides the case of former Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware, which is at defence hearing stage.

Judge Tuzmukhamedov is a member of the bench in the trial of ex-Rwandan Mayor Gregoire Ndahimana scheduled for closing arguments on September 21, 2011 and that of Youth Minister Callixte Nzabonimana, whose evidence phase has already been completed.

The president's assignment, according to the statement, was in line with Resolution 1878 (2009) of the United Nations Security Council, which amended Article 13 (3) of the Statute of the Tribunal.

It provides that the president may assign up to four additional Permanent Judges serving at ICTR Trial Chambers to the Appeals Chamber once their cases are complete. Before the amendment of the statutes of the tribunal, the president could appoint two permanent judges to the Appeals Chamber.

This is the first time for the president of the Tribunal to assign a large number of permanent judges from the Trial Chamber to the Appeals Chamber.


© Hirondelle News Agency