ICTR decision on Kabiligi an embarrassment — gov’t

ARUSHA - The Government of Rwanda has termed the recent decision by the ICTR Office of Prosecutor (OTP) as ‘an embarrassment to the judicial process. The Chief of Appeals in the Prosecutor’s office of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), last week announced that they would not appeal against the ruling on Gen Gratien Kabiligi. 

ARUSHA - The Government of Rwanda has termed the recent decision by the ICTR Office of Prosecutor (OTP) as ‘an embarrassment to the judicial process.

The Chief of Appeals in the Prosecutor’s office of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), last week announced that they would not appeal against the ruling on Gen Gratien Kabiligi.

Kabiligi, who stood trial against Col Theoneste Bagosora in what was called the Military One Trial, was last December acquitted by the Trial Chamber. The same chamber sentenced Bagosora to life imprisonment.

“It is an embarrassment to the judicial dispensation because the reason of the acquittal was in the first place based on initial gathering of evidence in the first place,” said Alloys Mutabingwa, Rwanda’s Representative at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). 

He said that there were a lot of mismatch in the evidence deriving from the fact that the Military One trial was one of the first trials, the evidence collected at the beginning could not correspond with some facts as the trial proceeded.

Kabiligi was the Director of Operations in the Ex-FAR, the government forces at the time of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi.

Mutabingwa however added that the government of Rwanda respects the decision by the Prosecutor saying it is ‘purely judicial.’

According to sources from the Tanzania-based tribunal, Kabiligi is now in a safe house in Arusha, the town that hosts the UN Court.

The Military One trial was one of the most followed trials mainly because of the suspects involved, including Bagosora, the former Director of Cabinet in the Ministry of Defence during the genocide.

Bagosora is said to have been at the forefront of the creation of the transitional government that executed the Genocide against Tutsis that left over a million people dead.

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