Sunday 2 November 2008

Unexplained (and Unacceptable) Delays at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

A year ago, in November 2007, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda provided the Security Council with an update on its ‘Completion Strategy’ ( The Tribunal was about to complete a year in which only one judgment involving one defendant had been issued (not counting two judgments based upon guilty pleas), but it explained to the Security Council that decisions concerning nine defendants in six trials were in the pipeline, and would be issued within the first half of 2008 (see p. 21). This seemed an acceptable explanation at the time. But as of 1 July 2008, not one of the promised decisions had been rendered. A judgment involving one of the accused was issued in late September 2008. That’s it. Trial in one of the cases, known as ‘Military I’ (Bagosora et al.), finished in mid-2007, that is, sixteen months ago, and there is still no judgment. Bagosora has been in pre-trial detention since 1996!

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