Butare, a trial out of bounds at the ICTR

04 June 2007 by Thierry Cruvellier

On June 11, it will be six years since the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) began the trial for six genocide suspects who come from the Butare region in southern Rwanda. The six Rwandans, whose positions and background were quite different, were joined together to "speed up the proceedings." However, this produced just the opposite effect, and the trial has been dragged out with irreparable consequences. This month, two of the accused will begin their thirteenth year in prison with still no verdict in sight. In July, three others will be celebrating their tenth year in prison. So much for international human rights law, which guarantees a defendant the right to be tried "without undue delay." This affair has done much to tarnish a tribunal that was supposed to uphold human rights. The prosecution has taken three and a half years to present 59 witnesses. In two and a half years, four defense teams will have called approximately 80. At this rate, it will take another two years to hear the 60 remaining witnesses listed by the defense. The six accused will by then have spent between 11 and 14 years in preventive detention.


Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

21 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inhe

07 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

December 7, 2011 Ivory Coast is the latest playgroundoftheInternationalCriminal Court. This week the courtroom in The Hague became its theatre of justice. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo proudly p

07 December 2011 by Richard Walker

Four Congolese witnesses testifying at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, find themselves caught in a legal wrangle, which could at once set a legal precedent and make them the last

07 December 2011 by Lindy Janssen

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing wi

07 December 2011 by Radosa Milutinovic

The primary purpose of the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj, as proclaimed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its appeal judgement in July, should have been to hear testimonies of two "key" witnesses who proved unwilling to testify in the original trial in 2007. Almost four months into the retrial which started in mid-August, its stated aim has not yet been achieved.