Arusha, November 7, 2013 (FH) -  Investigating magistrates from the special tribunal charged with bringing Hissène Habré to justice this week embarked on a second mission to Chad.  Meanwhile the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda again appealed for host countries for ICTR acquitted persons. 

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Second investigative mission to Chad: Investigating magistrates from the Extraordinary African Chambers charged with bringing former Chadian president Hissène Habré to justice on Monday began a second investigative mission to Chad expected to last two and half weeks. They are to continue hearing victims and witnesses and consulting the archives of the former political police of Hissène Habré. They are also scheduled to visit alleged sites of mass graves. Habré’s  lawyers, however, are boycotting this work of the African Chambers, which they say lack independence and impartiality. Habré, who has been living in exile in Senegal since 1990, was charged in Dakar in July with crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture.


Second initial appearance for witness tampering: Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, a member of the defence team for Congolese Senator Jean-Pierre Bemba, Thursday made an initial appearance before the International Criminal Court (ICC)  for suspected witness tampering. Mangenda is suspected of interfering with the administration of justice in the context of Bemba’s trial. Bemba himself, his lawyer Aimé Kilolo and Congolese MP Fidèle Babala Wandu, who are also suspected of witness tampering in the case, were brought before the Court for initial appearances last week.


ICTR renews call for host countries for acquitted persons: The President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Judge Vagn Joensen, Thursday renewed his call for host countries for persons acquitted by the Court and those who have served their sentences. Joensen, accompanied by ICTR Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow, was speaking to the UN Security Council as he presented his latest report on the ICTR, which is scheduled to close its doors at the end of 2014. Based in Arusha,Tanzania, the ICTR has so far acquitted 12 individuals, of whom only five have found host countries. According to an agreement between the UN and Tanzania, persons whose judgments have been confirmed are to leave Tanzanian territory. But seven acquitted persons and three who have served their prison terms are still in Tanzania.