ICTR-ADAD (ASSOCIATION DES AVOCATS DE LA DEFENCE
Association of ICTR defence lawyers
June 12, 2008
Prof. Peter Erlinder, ADAD Pres (Eng) [email protected]
Me. Gershom Otachi, ADAD V.Pres (Eng/Fr/Swahili) [email protected]
KIGALI ARRESTS OF RPF SUSPECTS IN 1994 PRIEST KILLINGS
CONFIRMS LONG-STANDING ICTR-OTP COVER-UP
ARUSHA, TZ — June 12, 2008
The Bureau of ADAD welcomes the first public admission by ICTR Prosecutor Jallow in his press conference today, that the premise upon which all prosecutions at the ICTR has been based thus far….is a falsehood.
By announcing the arrest of 4 members of the Rwandan military for the 1994 assassination of 13 leaders of the Catholic Church in Kabgayi, including the Archbishop of Rwanda, the Prosecutor has confirmed that members of the former government or military are NOT responsible for all crimes committed in Rwanda in 1994, as the OTP had previously maintained. The arrests in Kigali, however, do not change the fact that not one member of the current government or military has ever been prosecuted at the ICTR.
This change in position by the ICTR Prosecutor was necessary because of recent public revelations by former ICTR Prosecutors Carla Del Ponte and Michael Hourigan, QC , that the OTP has had the evidence to prosecute members of the current government, including President Kagame, as early as 1997 and has refused to do so. Carla Del Ponte was removed from her ICTR office in 2003 when she refused to follow US/UK orders to NOT prosecute members of the current government and Hourigan resigned after then-Chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour ordered him to drop any investigation related to Kagame or the RPF.
Also within the past several months, Spanish Investigative Judge Andreu issued a 180-page indictment of 40 high ranking members of the current government for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in 1994 and after. The indictment includes references to President Kagame. In late 2006, French Judge Bruguiere also issued indictments for the assassins of former President Habyarimana and requested that the ICTR prosecute President Kagame for the crime. INTERPOL warrants remain outstanding.
Last week a paper was presented at the University of Paris which details original UN and U.S. government documents from 1994 which confirm that in May 1994 UNCHR and the Red Cross reported “20-30 bodies headless bodies every 30 minutes” in the Akagera River then controlled by the RPF. And, U.S. Undersecretary of State George Moose reported in September 1994 that the RPF was killing “10,000 civilians a month” in one small part of Rwanda. The evidence from original UN files that Kagame is responsible for the assassination of Habyarimana and that he refused to agree to a ceasefire that would have stopped the killings….because of his military strategy to seize power, has been put into the ICTR record by the defence.
UN files also confirm that, UN experts reported as early as 2003 that Kagame’s army had invaded the eastern Congo in 1996 and continues to control large portions of the Congo in a conflict that has cost millions of lives, and continues to this day.
ADAD calls on the Judges of the ICTR, and the members of the Security Council to reject the now admitted manipulation of the ICTR to create impunity that Carla Del Ponte describes as resulting from political support from the current Rwandan government for its powerful patrons in the United States and United Kingdom.