Arusha, July 3, 2012 (FH) –The President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Judge Vagn Joensen, has issued additional guidelines to govern staff members of the Tribunal monitoring cases referred to Rwanda, including that of Pastor Jean Uwinkindi.

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In his order dated June 29, 2012, Judge Joensen insisted on fair trial rights. He also directed ICTR monitors to respect and enhance the independence of the national courts by avoiding interferences with the judiciary with regard to the merits or outcome of individual cases.

“More specifically, ICTR monitors must never interrupt a trial proceeding or speak with legal actors or participants during any judicial proceedings, and should ideally observe from a location separate from the prosecution and the defence in the court room to avoid the appearance of support or partiality,” he stated.

The additional guidelines require the monitors to observe and report on cases referred under ICTR rules. They must avoid any appearance of possessing an expanded mandate, including avoidance of commentaries and refraining from reporting on cases not referred by the Tribunal.

“ICTR monitors are expected to act in a professional manner at all times and to perform their duties honourably, faithfully, impartially and conscientiously. ICTR monitors shall not intervene in the investigative, pre-trial or trial proceedings (and) shall not act as mediators between the parties,” the President further said.

The ICTR has referred eight cases to Rwanda for hearing. Apart from Uwinkindi, other transferred cases involve one detainee of the Tribunal, who was a leader of Interahamwe, six fugitives, including three mayors, one communal police official, an ex-army officer and a restaurant manager.

Two ICTR staff members were appointed in April this year as interim monitors of these cases, pending final agreement with the African Commission for Human and People’s Rights to undertake their assignment.