Military trial: chronicle of a crisis foretold

06 December 2004 by André-Michel

Once more, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is walking on very thin ice. Not only is it reeling from having lost an entire year in the Government I trial, but serious problems now threaten to short-circuit the Military I trial.

On 26 October, when the Registrar, Adama Dieng, decided to dismiss Jean Degli, the lead counsel for General Gratien Kabiligi for the past seven years, on suspicion of defrauding the ICTR, he stated he was "acting in the interest of justice and to avoid a detrimental effect on the rest of the trial". It now seems he was mistaken. In a collective motion filed on 17 November, the three lawyers for the remaining co-accused openly challenge the registrar's decision, and even demand that Degli be reinstated.

The Registrar's prerogatives

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