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contribution 04 - Lurquin Vincent

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Accused realeased

Vincent LURQUIN

transtlated version

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will follow up on what Mr. Roux said. If there is one thing on which everyone here is agreed, that is, that the rulings of the Tribunal have to be respected. And if decisions are not respected, then it is futile having a Tribunal. It may be scandalous or the greatest scandal of the Tribunal is that today, 10 July 2009, you have someone out there in Arusha, Ntagerura, who was acquitted on 24 February 2004.

Five and a half years on, a solution has not been found. He was acquitted together with one of my clients, Emmanuel Bagambiki. For three and a half years, with the assistance of the Registrar, we tried to find a host country. I remember the day on which he was acquitted. Of course, there were all sorts of passions. On the side of the Defence, they were overjoyed at the acquittal.

Now, on the side of the Prosecution, they were like surprised, and they were saying he should not be let off. And the next day, of course, they had to be an agreement from a country that would take him in. Today it’s three and a half years on. Madam Conde mentioned cooperation of the states. That is all very well. In terms of the investigation, arrests, because cooperation in terms of acquittals does not exist, because, as Mr. Roux said, acquittal is not really happening, but it is real because those who are tried before the international Tribunals are human beings.

Three and a half years, three and a half years, whereas the condition now is less pleasant as it was when they were in prison. But whereas they told us, "Thank you. Thank you." We have received the new lease of life that we are waiting. And then they later telephoned us to say, "Well, we don’t have cooking materials. We have a kitchen, but we don’t have a gas bottle," and so on. So they have that precarious lifestyle for the past three and a half years because they have been acquitted but they are still not free.

The highest administrative unit in Belgium realised that the situation was intolerable and got Mr. Bagambiki to Belgium. But it is unbearable. We shoot around this table to see how countries can take in these acquitted persons. Those countries that actually support international justice but would not take in an acquitted person. Is that not the scandal? Should we even talk even more on this issue to ask for the freedom of an acquitted person?

So I believe that by the end of this symposium if we have to bring out a resolve, it is for everyone to find a solution so that the ruins of the Tribunal rulings of the Tribunal can simply be respected.

A. GARAPON

Thank you. Mr. Ngarambe.