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contribution 09 - Lurquin Vincent

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Accused realeased - RPF prosecution


transtlated version

Effectively, there’s a possibility in civil law to have a legally assisted counsel. That is, if someone does not want a counsel, the Bar president would appoint a counsel to represent that person. He states the law and advises the accused. At the Cour d’assises (Criminal court), a counsel is necessarily present at the side of the accused. And where he is absent, for any reason, the trial stops. So we may try to apply this legal proceeding at the level of the international tribunals. But the lawyers should be appointed by a Bar president.

But with your leave, since Madam Del Ponte asked me a question, she said the role of the Prosecutors was to represent the victims. But in The Hague (the ICC), there are also representatives to represent the victims. She says to be nostalgic about the International Tribunals. I would invite her to join my team at The Hague. It may be good for her and for Madam Arbia.

Third little point I wanted to raise. I disagree with her on this issue of release. She said: “When one is free, one is free. Why are we raising the issue of persons who have served their time and they are free?” They are free indeed, but it’s more like an official statute than the reality of the situation. It’s in in fact a real problem. They are free, but free from what? They cannot stay in Tanzania and they cannot go back to their countries. So the freedom of the free person is to continue staying in prison, and that is not a proper solution.

One last point. Prosecutor Jallow spoke of impunity. Now, as long as we do not address the crimes committed by the RPF, we are facing a great chasm of impunity. So I could understand him when he’s stressing the need of relevant evidence to bring these people before the Tribunal. But I think there are quite a few persons who could offer their services to the Prosecutor. We know that we have more than indicia. There is evidence. In the case of Gatabazi, Mr. Guichaoua told us that these are the persons who did this and that, and Madam Del Ponte said that there were 13 case files. What has become of them?

These are important questions. And I thank Mr. Jallow for having opened up so freely. I will add a little question, some side issue that is not always discussed. It is the fact that all this evidence is provided by experts. And one thing that has always impressed me with the Tribunal is that experts, even Prosecution experts, cannot go to Rwanda because they are declared persona non grata. I want to know what the Prosecutor and the registry are doing, especially in the case of Guichaoua, who cannot go to Rwanda, in the case Philippe Reyntjens, who is persona non grata in Rwanda, and even the person to whom we paid tribute yesterday, Alison Des Forges, who could not go to Rwanda any more.


My eyesight is not up to it, but I’m going to give the floor first to Mr. Nsengimana in the corner. Thank you.