ICTR plans to transfer trials to Rwanda

06 September 2004 by our correspondent

Relations between the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the Rwandan government were the topic of two announcements made by the ICTR prosecutor Hassan Jallow at the end of August.

First came the news that he would be looking to transfer around 45 trials or case files to national courts by the end of the year, specifically to Rwanda. Kigali immediately declared that it would be scrapping the death penalty for suspects sent to it by the UN court. "I am confident that the Rwandan government will ensure that fair trials take place here,» the prosecutor told Reuters. Hassan Jallow also said that the transfer involved five ICTR detainees and he would be asking the court for permission to carry this out. In a report published
on 1 August 2002, the organisation International Crisis Group noted: "It is paradoxical to observe a UN court, with its considerable financial means, rely on a Rwandan court system that is already overburdened and underfunded, to complete its unfinished work despite the comfortable budget at its disposal." Most ICTR defendants are opposed to being transferred to Rwandan courts.

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