Arusha, March 15, 2014 (FH) -  A French court sentenced Pascal Simbikangwa, the first Rwandan genocide suspect tried in France, to 25 years in jail. Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court (ICC) suspended the trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto until March 31.

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Habré caseChadian state cannot be civil party, says HRW: Chad’s move to become a civil party in the case against former Chadian president Hissène Habré has no legal basis, according to an expert at Human Rights Watch (HRW). The Chadian state’s plaint before the Extraordinary African Chambers in Dakar, Senegal, was filed by Justice Minister Béchir Madet on February 25. In a commentary  published on Tuesday, HRW legal affairs expert and spokesman Reed Brody said the mission of the Extraordinary African Chambers was to bring to justice individuals, for acts committed against other individuals.

ICC Ruto trial suspended: The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday suspended the trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang until March 31. The two men are charged with crimes against humanity for allegedly playing a leading role in deadly violence that followed elections in their country in December 2007. Since the trial started on September 10, 2013, the prosecution has brought 13 witnesses out of 22 that it intends to bring. The majority of witnesses have testified behind closed doors.

FranceFirst trial in France linked to Rwandan genocide: A French court on Friday sentenced Pascal Simbikangwa to 25 years in jail for genocide and complicity in crimes against humanity, thus ending France’s first ever trial linked to the Rwandan genocide. The prosecutor had asked for life imprisonment, while the accused had argued for an acquittal. Simbikangwa, a former member of ex-president Juvénal Habyarimana’s presidential guard, was accused of arming and mobilizing Interahamwe militia at roadblocks where they killed Tutsis in 1994. Now aged 54, he has been in a wheelchair since a road accident in 1986.