Arusha, December 10, 2011 (FH) -While former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo made his initial appearance before the International Criminal Court (ICC) this week on charges of crimes against humanity, the prosecution in the case of ex-Rwandan military officer, Captain Ildephonse Nizeyimana, requested for life imprisonment sentence during presentation of closing arguments at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

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Gbagbo before the ICC: Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, on Monday made his first appearance before the ICC, where the presiding judge ensured that he was clearly informed of the charges brought against him and of his rights under the Rome Statute. Gbagbo took the opportunity to give details about his arrest, his time in jail and how he was transferred to The Hague on November 30. He strongly criticized France's role. Gbagbo explained that he was arrested on April 11, 2011, under French shelling, while 50 French tanks surrounded the presidential building. Two days later, he was transferred in the North of the country, where he was kept under house arrest.

ICC Judges ask Libya to act on Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam: On Tuesday, ICC judges requested Libyan authorities to indicate if they plan to surrender Saif al-Islam Gaddafi to the Court for trial. They want to know if he was arrested on grounds of the international arrest warrant issued by the ICC. Muammar Gaddafi's son was arrested on November 19, in the south of Libya, following an arrest warrant issued by the ICC on June 27, on charges of crimes against humanity. According to the judges, the Libyan authorities should also tell them before January 10 "when and where" court officials would meet with the suspect to ask him if he wants a lawyer to represent his interests at the court and "to assess his physical and mental state."   


Nizeyimana trial ends: The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Wednesday received closing arguments in the case of former Rwandan military officer, Captain Ildephonse Nizeyimana, with prosecution requesting for life imprisonment sentence to the defendant if convicted of crimes he allegedly committed during 1994 genocide. Nizeyimana who was allegedly second in command, in charge of intelligence and military operations at the Non-Commissioned Officers School (ESO) in Butare in 1994, is charged with genocide and extermination, murder and rape as crimes against humanity. The defence, on the other hand, sought for acquittal, alleging that the prosecution failed to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt.   

ICTR President and Prosecutor address UN Security Council: ICTR President, Judge Khalida Rachid Khan, Wednesday appealed to the United Nations Security Council to find a lasting solution of getting host countries to acquitted persons who remain in safe houses under the Tribunal's protection. She explained that efforts to find host countries for the five acquitted persons proved unsuccessful due to the absence of a formal mechanism to secure the support of the member states to accept those persons in their countries. On the same day, the Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow, asked the Security Council to request Kenya and Zimbabwe to fully discharge their obligations in arresting genocide fugitives, Felicien Kabuga and Protais Mpiranya.   


© Hirondelle News Agency