The ICTR heads for early release harmonization

11 June 2014 by Clive Muhenga, Arusha (Tanzania)

One of the direct consequences of the establishment of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), established to carry out the remaining tasks of the two ad hoc tribunals after their closure, is that those convicted in Arusha can now apply for early release after completing two-thirds of their sentence, just like those convicted in The Hague [IJT-158]. Previously, they had first to complete three-quarters of their jail term.

Wearing a brown wide-brimmed hat, a black leather jacket, jeans and brown leather boots, captain Innocent Sagahutu – until recently imprisoned at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) detention centre – is out shopping in the city of Arusha, Northern Tanzania. During the 1994 genocide, Sagahutu commanded a squadron within the Reconnaissance Battalion, in Kigali. Last February, he was sentenced on appeal to 15 years imprisonment for aiding and abetting the killing of ten Belgian peacekeepers. After a lengthy provisional detention, he was expected to stay in jail one more year. But on 9 May, Judge Theodor Meron, the president of the MICT, granted Sagahutu early release. 

The institution, established by the Security Council with one branch in Arusha and another in The Hague, respectively inaugurated in July 2012 and a year later, has been tasked with the residual activities of the ICTR, based in Arusha, and of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), located in The Hague, after the completion of their mandates.

A breach of the ICTR policy

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