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26 March 2006 by Thierry Cruvellier and our correspondent in Arusha

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is on the verge of concluding at least two guilty pleas, including one from Joseph Serugendo, former head of the Interahamwe militia who appeared in a closed session on March 15. Some of the detainees are preparing to follow his lead, while others are watching with interest to see the outcome of the negotiations with the prosecutor. The subject is still a sensitive one, and the UN tribunal is nervously pursuing this strategy it deems essential to concluding all its trials before 2008.

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18 March 2010 by -

Hutu killers sang his songs as they slaughtered Tutsis in Rwanda and in 2008, judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) found him guilty of incitement to commit genocide. On Thursday, the UN court’s appeals chamber upheld the conviction of Rwandan troubadour Simon Bikindi, along with his sentence of 15 years in prison.

By Thijs Bouwknegt

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11 November 2009 by Thijs Bouwknegt

As the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) prepares to close its doors in Tanzania, courts around the world are taking up the task of trying suspected Rwandan génocidaires. They do so under the principle of Universal Jurisdiction: a doctrine that allows prosecutors to reach beyond national borders in cases of torture, war crimes or genocide committed elsewhere. 
 

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02 March 2001 by -

Accused of using the media to incite genocide in Rwanda, Hassan Ngeze and Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza now have the latest communication technology at their fingertips. For the last three months, both defendants have been operating their own Web site from inside the UN detention facility. Although they are managed externally, the sites contain material supplied by the defendants themselves that somehow escapes prison censorship. Does the UN detention facility have a slow leak?

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03 June 2002 by -

Alison Des Forges has finished giving evidence as a prosecution witness in the Media trial. Her expert testimony proved to be mostly general, and was often in response to questions far removed from the genocide. Once Alison Des Forges had taken her oath, the traditional exercise of presenting the witness to the court was an unusually lengthy affair, far longer than most expert witnesses called to testify before the ICTR.

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14 March 2002 by -

During the testimony of Georges Ruggiu, the submission of evidence in the form of RTLM broadcasts turned farcical. Observers will clearly have to wait until the final moments of the prosecution case in the RTLM trial before the ICTR until they get to hear recordings of actual radio broadcasts in the courtroom.

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01 June 2001 by -

Former Kigali chief prosecutor, François-Xavier Nsanzuwera, testified from April 23 to May 2 against the three defendants in the Media trial. From his testimony, emerges a picture of a far more extensive criminal conspiracy. Over the last few weeks, despite the continued interruptions that have come to characterise the disjointed Media trial, the hearings are finally getting to the heart of the matter. Never before has the trial seemed so focused.

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01 June 2001 by -

Fifteen days after having pleaded guilty, Georges Ruggiu, the Italian-Belgian former RTLM announcer has been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. This is the lowest sentence handed down yet by the Tribunal for Rwanda. The verdict is seen as a success by defence counsel, as the prosecutor had demanded 20 years. The Tribunal has not yet determined the country in which Georges Ruggiu will serve his sentence, although he has expressed a preference for Italy. « I have the inclination to think that this is a terribly human story. »

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01 June 2001 by -

After a long, gruelling day of hearings during which the Belgian, former journalist at the RTLM, pleaded guilty to incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity, Carla del Ponte demanded a sentence of twenty years imprisonment against Georges Ruggiu. Defence counsel did not request a specific sentence, but clearly indicated that, given the 15 year sentence imposed on another repented criminal found guilty of genocide, Omar Serushago, the sentence against the former radio announcer could not be longer.

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01 June 2001 by -

Georges Ruggiu, the repentant convict, delivered the strongest testimony yet against Ferdinand Nahimana before being cross-examined. The risk with Georges Ruggiu would have been to underestimate him. The contrast between the well-known radio host at Radio des Mille Collines, a man known to be easily influenced, and the robust defence team representing the radio's founder, raised doubts over whether the Belgian would withstand the rigours of cross-examination in the witness box.

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