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Prosecutor outlines future plans

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Mme Carla Del Ponte today told a press conference that the Prosecution would file a motion requesting the Tribunal to transfer to Kigali certain hearings in the Media Trial, currently in progress in Arusha, as soon as appropriate court facilities are ready in Kigali. She said Switzerland had undertaken to finance the conversion of a courtroom of the Rwandan Supreme Court to make it suitable for that purpose.

Mme Del Ponte said that the Prosecution was actively investigating some Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) soldiers who are alleged to have committed crimes within the Tribunal’s jurisdiction in 1994. She added that she discussed that matter with the President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

She told the well attended press conference that, before the end of January next year, she would present a work programme which will clearly indicate the amount of investigative work, indictments and the number of trials to be held in the coming years.

She was optimistic that more indictments will be issued next year, although she said arrests of some indicted individuals was being hampered by two African countries which were harbouring them. She did not name the two countries. "These fugitives are traveling around the world using different names and genuine passports issued by some African countries," she said.

The Prosecutor said that henceforth all new indictments would have an annex of all the evidence thus making trial procedures more efficient and easing problems of disclosure of evidence. This means that the Prosecution will disclose all the evidence to the Defence at the hearing where the indictment is confirmed, and would reduce the large number of pre-trial motions which delayed progress of trials.

On the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana, Mme Del Ponte said that the Prosecution was closely monitoring investigations being undertaken by the French Judge Bruguere. She added that her office would decide on what course of action to take after getting results of the Judge’s investigations.

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