Paris, November 18, 2011 (FH) - The French Minister of Justice told Hirondelle News Agency on Friday that four examining judges will be exclusively assigned to the special "genocide unit" of Paris Tribunal de grande instance that will commence duties in January 2012.

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The French Assembly passed the law creating this "special unit" on November 16.  It will serve as a special forum to deal with "crimes against humanity, crimes of war, and acts of torture".

Along with the four magistrates, "one judge from the office of the Prosecutor, two Registrars and six other employees coming from the Minister of Foreign Affairs will also be assigned to the special unit", the Minister of Justice's spokesman Bruno Dabre told Hirondelle News Agency on Friday.

The unit will have to handle in priority twenty Rwandan cases out of a total of 340 files.

Bruno Dabre added that the financial resources of the unit have not been yet disclosed.

According to the new law, examining judges will be entitled "within the frame of a Rogatory letter and with the approval of the concerned state" to conduct hearings in that territory.

The "special unit" will also inherit the case opened against French soldiers for alleged rapes committed in 1994 during Operation Turquoise. Proceedings in this case are slated to be transferred from the Army Court on January 1st, 2012.


© Agence Hirondelle