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contribution 30 - KWENDE Alfred

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Investigation - Production of evidence


original version

I just thought that what Alphonse said was very important. It reinforces one of the challenges I was going to express along the way. That is, at the court level most of the documents are generated by investigators. Put yourselves in the position of an investigator in Rwanda. Most of our international staff, they don’t speak Kinyarwanda and they have to use Kinyarwanda speaking Rwandans to do interpretation. Their job is beyond interpreting words. It’s also interpreting the culture into the statements that are recorded by witnesses. And believe you me, most of the sense is lost, or we spend more time trying to get into the frame of mind or the mind of the witness to know what he is saying.

The Rwandan culture is very difficult. If you ask a question, they answer that question. They don’t go beyond that. So you have to build up into a way of getting that information out of a witness.

Secondly , Alphonse mentioned it , most Rwandans fall on one side or the other of the divide. So the interpreters themselves are into that movement. How do you get the best if they filter out some of the important information being communicated by the witness? So it’s difficult. It’s a challenge which we have to meet, not only in the cabins at the Trial Chambers, but even at the level of collecting the essential and important evidence that’s going to be used in court. Some witnesses have even challenged the witness statements in court, that the interpreters didn’t replicate the ideas they were expressing. Thank you.


J’en profite pour remercier les personnes qui sont en haut, dans cette cabine, et qui font un très bon travail.

Madame Ngendahayo, que j’aurais d’ailleurs pu interroger sur les victimes, pardonnez-moi, je vous laisse la parole. Ensuite, nous passons à un autre thème, c’est promis.