17 December 2012

Rwanda: MICT President Visits Rwanda

The president of the Mechanism of International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) Theodor Meron is in the country to discuss with Rwanda's justice officials issues regarding the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

Yesterday, Judge Meron met the Chief Justice, visited the Supreme Court, Ministry of Justice, and the Prosecutor General's office.

While talking to the press yesterday, the deputy Prosecutor General Alphonse Hitiyaremye said that Judge Meron has discussed with different Rwanda's justice leaders what the ICTR has not yet done, mainly focusing on Rwanda's proposition of the Arusha based court to approach genocide survivals.

"The ICTR has been trying almost all of those who were at the highest levels of preparations for the 1994 genocide against Tutsis. They probably know a lot about that horrible time which costs a million lives to our country. What we would like to request is the ICTR to approach genocide survivals in order to explain them issues that they still ignore on what took the lives of their beloved ones," Hitiyaremye said.

Mr Hitiyaremye further added that, particularly the prosecution side requested the presiding judge of appeals chamber of ICTR to study the issue of ICTR convicted prisoners who are completing their sentences in Mali, and are said to have been released, therefore enjoying a 'stolen freedom' in the West African country. "Though he seemed to not be convinced about that information, he promised us to work on the issue and provide appropriate measures."

"Till now no Rwandan tried by the ICTR has been sent to Rwanda to complete his sentence. Yet, we have signed an memorandum of understanding (MOU) with them and they have agreed to send them as we had committed to all their demands (conditions)," he said.

Judge Meron, who was born in 1930 in Poland is also the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Presiding Judge of the Appeals Chambers of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the ICTY, having been elected on October 19, 2011 as President of the ICTY, starting November 17, 2011. He previously served as President of the ICTY from 2003 to 2005.

On December 20, 2011, Judge Meron was elected as a Judge of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism). On February 29, 2012, he was appointed President of the Mechanism for a four-year term, starting March 1, 2012. He also serves as Honorary President of the American Society of International Law.

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