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contribution 05 - NGARAMBE Joseph

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Guilty plea - Kambanda

Joseph NGARAMBE

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I would like to come back on the confession, the guilty and the Kambanda trial. Mr. Muna has stated that maybe the Judges could could have now, I am talking about the Office of the Prosecutor because in November 2002, the Prosecutor sent me to go and negotiate with Kambanda in Mali because Kambanda no longer wanted to talk to a single member of the Prosecutor’s office. So the deputy Prosecutor at the time, who was serving in an acting capacity, was Mr. Michael Johnson. He asked me to try to renew contact between the Office of the Prosecutor and Kambanda. He insisted that I do so.

I committed myself and did so. I called him. He agreed to see me. He told me that I did not have to come with members of the Office of the Prosecutor. I told him I will be coming with Mr. Rapp, a member of the Prosecutor’s office who was a senior trial attorney, especially in the Media case. I said I’ll be coming with Mr. Rapp. He said, no I don’t want to see him. So we went on mission. Stephen Rapp was at the hotel, he stayed in the hotel while I went to the detention centre to negotiate. Kambanda was angry with the Office of the Prosecutor. He told me all the the evil he thought of them unqualified ills. Had told him that things had evolved and that they had embarked on a new policy and they had changed and they were ready to comply with the commitments.

He told me, "Joseph, you are naive. Those people don’t keep their word." I told him, "No. You are overstating it." You know he was a former high school class meat and class might and we know ourselves for very long. I told him he was paranoia. And he told me, "Joseph, you are the one who is naive. I’ll give you your chance. I’ll give you a number of conditions." And he gave me four conditions. I wrote them down. I can cite two of them by rote because I don’t have the document before me.

One of the conditions was that the OTP will commit itself to Prosecutor members of the RPF and refrain from prosecuting only one side whereas both sides had committed crimes. That was his first condition, I believe.

The second condition was that since we had to go and negotiate at the Hague, the second Hague that even if the negotiations did not turn out well with the OTP he will not be taken back to Mali for security reasons.

So I said for the four conditions to Stephen Rapp who forwarded them to Mr. Johnson, the acting Prosecutor at the time, who accepted then and then appended his signature to them. I took Kambanda to the Hague in the aircraft. The Registrar sent persons there because the procedure is quite complicated. Even at airport, we had to follow a number of procedures. We got to the Hague. I can’t remember the details but Mr. Johnson was in charged with others and at the end it didn’t work out. At the end, they took back Kambanda to Mali.

So I was suddenly astonished. I didn’t even realised that he had been taken whack to Mali. So the promise that I had been given, a signature to accompanied, had not been respected at all. Keeping people people keeping their word is a serious problem and I have a serious issue with that, with the Office of the Prosecutor, with which I was worked since 1996.

Another case in which I committed my word, my influence, was the ^Rujendo case. He had demanded that I serve as mediator. I came and things worked out well but he fell ill. He got a cancer and he died. But in the interval, his family that had asked to be evacuated are still in Arusha. I have no news about them even though I had committed myself, I had begin my word begin my word.

So there is a problem of keeping promises at the Office of the Prosecutor. It has cost us dearly, cost us dearly in terms of potential witnesses and testimonies.

A. GARAPON

Thank you for your testimony. I believe that the Office of the Prosecutor once again is challenged in keeping promises, keeping commitments. So maybe we should give Mr. O’Donnell the floor now.