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Newly elected judges sworn in

Two judges elected to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda by the UN General Assembly on 24 April 2001 were sworn in during a ceremony held in Arusha today. The Judges are Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu from Lesotho and Arlette Ramaroson from Madagascar.

Their election follows adoption of Security Council Resolution No. 1329 of 30 November 2000, which authorised the appointment of the two additional judges and the assignment of two judges to the Appeals Chamber.

The Oath of Office was witnessed by the Registrar of the Tribunal, Mr. Adama Dieng, on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Also present were the President of the Tribunal, Judge Navanethem Pillay; President of the Appeals Chamber, Judge Claude Jorda; the judges of the Appeals Chamber and the Trial Chambers and the Prosecutor, Ms. Carla Del Ponte.

Judge Maqutu, 61, has been a judge of the High Court of Lesotho since 1993. Before that he practised as an advocate before the High Court and Court of Appeal of Lesotho and was Senior Lecturer and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law, National University of Lesotho.

Judge Ramaroson, 57, was First-grade Judge, with the rank of Président de Chambre advising the President of the Supreme Court, and Acting President of the Supreme Court Criminal Division in Madagascar. She was also seconded to the Ministry of Justice as Director of Foreign Affairs and Relations with Inter-ministerial Departments.

The Judges who have been assigned from the Trial Chambers to the Appeals Chamber are Mehmet Güney from Turkey and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana from Sri Lanka.

Judge Güney, 64, a member of Trial Chamber II, was elected to the Tribunal in in 1998. Prior to that he was a member of Ankara Bar Association and was later head of the Turkish delegation to the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the establishment of the International Criminal Court. He was also elected by the General Assembly a member of the International Law Commission (ILC).

Judge Gunawardana, 59, a member of Trial Chamber I, was elected to the Tribunal in 1998. Prior to that he was Judge of the Supreme Court in Sri Lanka. At one time he was President of the Court of Appeal and worked in Sri Lanka's Attorney-General department as Crown Counsel and later as Deputy Solicitor General.

Valedictory Session Held in Honour of the Late Judge Kama

The swearing-in ceremony was followed by a Valedictory Session in honour of the late Judge Laïty Kama. The session heard tributes by Judge Pillay, President of the Tribunal; Judge Claude Jorda, president of the Appeals Chamber; the Prosecutor Ms. Del Ponte; a representative of the Defence Counsel, Mr. Jean-Yaovi Degli; the brother of the late Judge Kama, Mr Mansour Kama and the Registrar Mr. Dieng. The statements praised and recognised the contribution made by the late Judge Kama to the work of the Tribunal and the promotion of human dignity.

Judge Kama was the first President of the Tribunal from 1995-1999. He died at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya on 6 May 2001, after a short illness. (see Press Release No.265) (Check our website or contact our office of Press and Public Affairs for more detailed biographies of the judges)

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