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contribution 09 - MUNA Bernard Acho

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Guilty plea - Kambanda

Bernard MUNA

original version

I just want to bring out this aspect of what happened in court. This, again, was a bit of a clash between the common law system and the civil law system. In the common law system, the lawyer asks and speaks on behalf of the client. We were shocked because in the judgement of the Court the fact that he showed no remorse was mentioned, which was factually not true. Because he spoke through his counsel and his counsel pleaded for him and said that he is sorry and so forth. His counsel was his spokesman for the Accused. And in the English system, that is correct. So when Kambanda said "No", he was saying "no" advised by his counsel who should hava said: "Look, I will talk on your behalf. When they ask you the question, please don’t ask , don’t add anything."

So we were very surprised at the end that this was held against him. In the common law system, his counsel spoke for him. Again, he was a victim of the clash of the two systems. Not only a victim. I agree that we did not keep our part of the bargain. It’s true, because when we talked to him, we gave the impression that "I am sorry that we didn’t keep up our bargain." That was the decision taken by our boss, but, unfortunately, it had other repercussions.


Thank you very much.

I think we will end with the guilty plea. We may have a reaction after that, and then we will move on to some other thing.