home > SESSION 6 > 09

contribution 09 - REYNTJENS Filip

français english


Kabgayi case - RPF prosecution


original version

Thank you, Mr. Vincent. You have properly pronounced my name. In French it is pronounced Reyntjens or something like that.

This will not come as a surprise to Bill Schabas, I think that his demonstration was actually quite unconvincing, and I would say at least for three reasons. The first is that the comparison made with Nuremberg and post‑Nazi Germany is simply not realistic in the sense that the Nazi regime was not succeeded by a another criminal regime. And that is pretty different in Rwanda.

The current Rwandan regime, after the period of the genocide and its committing crimes against humanity and war crimes then went on slaughtering tens of thousands of people, civilians, in the DRC late ’96, early ’97, and then again during the insurrection in the northwest of Rwanda tens of thousands of civilians in ’97, ’98. So I think these two situations are absolutely incomparable.

Second, I don’t think this has anything to do with balance or with politics. It has to do with principle. The question for the Prosecutor is: do we observe indictable acts and can we indict them? Can we successfully prosecute them? And that would send a very clear signal to not just the current regime in Rwanda, but possibly other regimes in power elsewhere in the Africa and the world.

And the last thing I thought was unconvincing are the reasons Bill gives not to prosecute. And he says, well, first of all, the RPF doesn’t want it. That’s one of the reasons he gave. The RPF doesn’t want it. That’s probably the least convincing of reasons. And because it’s not realistic, you must submit to politics. That’s basically what he said. I think on those three counts that his demonstration is fully unconvincing.

The second brief point I would like to make concerns what Prosecutor Jallow said this morning in answer to Leslie Haskell’s intervention on the judgement in the Gakurazo case or also what’s called the Kabgayi case or the clerics case, and he said that the judgement ‑‑ and I should add that I only know the judgement at first instance. I haven’t seen the judgement on appeal. But in the judgement in first instance there is, of course, reference to common article 3 of the Geneva Conventions in the preamble and in the text, for instance, when the prosecutor’s submission is summarised, but the most important thing is that in the operative part of the judgement, i.e., where it is decided whether the indicted persons are guilty, yes or no. The two captains are convicted for murder and murder only. Those are ordinary crimes, and so this case would fall under Article 9 of the Statute and letter A of Article 9, because B would be subject to much more debate and argument, I guess. But A is very simple. Have they been tried, jugé in French, only for ordinary crimes, yes or no? And then the answer is yes. It’s very simple. It’s not open to debate. Clearly those two captains were convicted for murder, and that’s an ordinary crime. Thank you.