Arusha, May 30, 2011(FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has varied protective measures enjoyed by its two witnesses whose particulars would be disclosed to the Canadian Department of Justice to facilitate proceedings in Canada for crimes committed in Rwanda during genocide in 1994.

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"The Chamber requests the Registry to provide copies of witnesses GAP and GFC's testimonies in closed session and exhibits tendered during those testimonies to the prosecution for the purpose of transmission to the Canadian authorities," it said in a decision posted on the ICTR website.

However, the Chamber allowed the prosecution to disclose the materials, including witnesses' statements, transcripts, exhibits and other necessary information to the Canadian Department of Justice on conditions that they should be treated confidential and would only be revealed to the parties in the proceedings.

The two witnesses had testified under the said protected names of GAP and GFC in Ndindiliyimana et al trial commonly referred as Military II involving four former Rwandan army officers, including two generals, Augustin Bizimungu and Augustin Ndindiliyimana, who were convicted of genocide, among other crimes.

Bizimungu was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment while Ndindiliyimana was released after being sentenced to the time he spent in detention since his arrest on January 29, 2000 in Belgium. It was, however, not made clear in which case the two witness will testify in Canada.

The prosecution had sought for variation of the witnesses' protective measures so that they could testify under their own names in open court in Canada and to allow Canadian authorities use and refer to the ICTR material in public and effectively investigate and prosecute persons responsible for the international crimes.

In its decision, however, the Chamber noted that the two witnesses have consented to the rescission of the protective measures conferred on them only with respect to the proceedings in Canada where they wished to give testimony under their own name.

This is not the first time the Tribunal is giving such a decision. In a recent decision dated May 10, 2011, it waived protective measures for one of its anonymous witnesses to help the Denmark's Special International Crimes Office to investigate and eventually prosecute genocide-suspect Emmanuel Mbarushimana.


© Hirondelle News Agency