1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. East Africa
  4. Rwanda

Prosecutor acts to speed up ICTR trials

The new prosecutor for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Hassan Jallow, told the UN Security Council on Thursday that he had taken measures aimed at speeding up trials at the court, UN News reported.

"I have already put in place mechanisms for a review of the cases of those in detention without trial so far, the 16 indicted fugitives, the 26 targets of investigations, as well as the 40 cases for possible transfer to national jurisdictions," Jallow was quoted as saying when he briefed the 15-member council on the tribunal's work.

UN News reported that Jallow told the council that his office would use the rules of evidence and procedure designed to shorten trials, and that the court would need additional judges next year in order to meet this objective.

The council appointed Jallow on 4 September when it split duties of Carla Del Ponte who had been prosecutor for the ICTR and the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The council extended Del Ponte's contract as ICTY prosecutor.

Jallow told the council that he would be guided by the tribunal's statute, especially with regard to selecting for prosecution the people having the greatest responsibility for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda that claimed the lives of at least 800,000 people.

Presently, the tribunal, based in Arusha, Tanzania, is conducting four trials, with 12 accused.

"The process of international criminal justice is, for many reasons, a difficult process, but it is a process which can and must be undertaken," Jallow was quoted as saying.

At the same time, UN News reported that ICTR President Judge Erik Mose told the council that a priority at the beginning of the court's third mandate has been to start new trials as soon as possible, and that the recent start of four new trials was a result of the council's creation of a pool of temporary judges to help the tribunal in its work.

However, Mose said much work remained to be done and that the tribunal was asking the council to amend the rule governing the number of temporary judges allowed to hear cases from four to nine.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

Hundreds of thousands of readers trust The New Humanitarian each month for quality journalism that contributes to more effective, accountable, and inclusive ways to improve the lives of people affected by crises.

Our award-winning stories inform policymakers and humanitarians, demand accountability and transparency from those meant to help people in need, and provide a platform for conversation and discussion with and among affected and marginalised people.

We’re able to continue doing this thanks to the support of our donors and readers like you who believe in the power of independent journalism. These contributions help keep our journalism free and accessible to all.

Show your support as we build the future of news media by becoming a member of The New Humanitarian. 

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.