Saturday, April 10, 2004

Rwanda: UN tribunal defence lawyers want mandate revised

Members of the Association of Defence Lawyers (ADAD) at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) have asked that the Tribunal's mandate be revised.
“In the last 10 years it [ICTR prosecution office] has only charged Rwandans of Hutu origins and not a single Tutsi. Yet it has been established that member of the RPF (Rwandese Patriotic Front, former rebel group now in power in Kigali) committed massacres both in Rwanda and in refugee camps in the former Zaire”, the lawyers wrote.

ADAD demands that the mandate of the ICTR be extended to cover the period up to 1997 “so as to investigate massacres committed both in Rwanda and the former Zaire by the RPA (Rwandese Patriotic Army, armed wing of the RPF)”.
The ICTR's jurisdiction covers crimes committed "by Rwandans in the territory of Rwanda and in the territory of neighbouring States" ... but only those crimes committed January 1 - December 31, 1994.