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Cablegate: Ictr Prosecutor On Work, Transfer of Cases To

VZCZCXRO5394
PP RUEHGI RUEHRN
DE RUEHLGB #0679/01 2940619
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 210619Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6369
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUZEFAA/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP 0085
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0292

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KIGALI 000679

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KCRM ICTR UNGA TZ RW
SUBJECT: ICTR PROSECUTOR ON WORK, TRANSFER OF CASES TO
RWANDA

REF: DAR ES SALAAM 643

KIGALI 00000679 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
(ICTR) chief prosecutor Hassan Jallow briefed Kigali-based
diplomats October 15 on the tribunal's work, anticipated
closure in 2010 and unresolved legacy issues. He intends to
request transfer of some remaining cases to Rwanda, and
indicated that Rwandan authorities will likely ask donors for
some assistance in strengthening their capacity to receive
them. Post recommends providing USG assistance if possible;
these issues are of core interest to Rwanda. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) On October 15, International Criminal Tribunal for
Rwandan (ICTR) chief prosecutor Hassan Jallow briefed
Kigali-based diplomats on the ICTR's work. Participants
included diplomats from the UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium,
Germany, Canada, Uganda, Kenya, and the EU, as well as
locally-based ICTR staff.

Status Report
-------------
3. (SBU) Jallow expected trials of all current detainees to
continue through 2010, with appeals lasting through 2012. Of
93 indictees, he said, the ICTR has arrested all but 11. The
ICTR completed 45 cases , with six acquittals and 39
convictions; 23 more are now on trial, although 15 of these
are simply awaiting judgment. Six more individuals are
waiting for their trials to start. The trial of (FNU)
Karemera, delayed because the defendant was sick, will begin
in November. The ICTR, he added, also recently transferred
two cases to France-its first transfers ever.

Possible Transfers to Rwanda?
-----------------------------
4. (SBU) Regarding the 11 remaining fugitives, Jallow said
the ICTR expected more arrests before the end of 2009. Three
would face trial at ICTR in Arusha; Jallow planned to ask
ICTR judges in late 2009 or early 2010 to transfer the
remaining eight cases to other jurisdictions, including
Rwanda. In order to receive cases from abroad, he explained,
the Government of Rwanda (GOR) already abolished solitary
confinement for cases transferred from abroad, has
restructured its witness protection program so that judges
rather than prosecutors run it, and adopted laws enabling the
use of testimony by videolink. He commented that in Rwanda,
witnesses for the prosecution, not the defense, suffer the
most harassment. The GOR still lacked the capacity to
implement these reforms, however, and Jallow understood that
Rwanda's Prosecutor General intends to ask for donor
assistance with training, equipment, technical advice, as
well as two vehicles and possibly two safe houses. (Note:
According to local press, Jallow announced, after a meeting
with Rwanda's prosecutor general, his intention to ask ICTR
judges to transfer cases to Rwanda. End Note.)

Legacy Issues Unresolved
------------------------
5. (SBU) Jallow noted there were several outstanding issues
related to ICTR's closure in future. The location,
management of, and access to ICTR-related archives were all
questions for the UNSC. ICTR itself preferred that the
archives remain in the region to allow for easier access by
African users, including national police forces, and noted
that some documents would need to remain confidential for
some time, perhaps 20-30 years. Another key question was how
to assemble judges and other legal personnel on a
case-by-case basis if needed after the ICTR closed.

No Remorse
QNo Remorse
----------
6. (SBU) When asked about the status of reconciliation
efforts in Rwanda, Jallow said the GOR's National Unity and
Reconciliation Council had informed him there were still many
problems, including intolerance in schools propagated by
parents and teachers. "We should remain concerned for a long
time," he emphasized, adding that intimidation of
witnesses-especially prosecution witnesses-was a recurring
problem, particularly in the areas around Ruhengeri, Gisenyi
and Gitarama. When the ICTR publishes its witness lists in
advance of trials, Jallow said it often finds that its
primary witnesses become the subject of gacaca trials.
(Note: Gacaca is a nationwide system of local courts
intended to foster reconciliation as well as mete out justice
for genocide-related crimes, and has dealt with over 1.6m

KIGALI 00000679 002.2 OF 002


cases since its inception in 2006. End Note.)

Prosecution of Alleged RPF War Crimes
-------------------------------------
7. (SBU) Responding to a question about prosecuting members
of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) for alleged killings of
civilians during the 1994 genocide, Jallow said such
allegations do fall within the ICTR's jurisdiction and that
"there is a unit working on this." The ICTR did not have
authority to investigate the downing of the presidential
aircraft in 1994, just before the genocide began, however,
and the GOR in 2008 did prosecute and convict some RPF
officers of war crimes committed at Kabgayi. (Note: The GOR
convicted two lower-level officers, acquitting two of their
higher-ranking colleagues. End Note.) Jallow strongly
disagreed with critics who charged that if the ICTR failed to
prosecute RPF members, it would amount to "victor's justice,"
saying that the most important thing was that criminals be
held accountable somewhere. The ICTR already had to "let go"
of many cases against possible genocidaires as part of its
completion strategy, and its primary focus was the genocide,
not war crimes.

8. (SBU) COMMENT: If and when the GOR does request
assistance, post believes it would be in the USG's interest
to consider the request favorably, if funds or other
resources are available. ICTR-related issues are of great
importance to the GOR because they impact reconciliation and
justice--issues still very much alive throughout Rwandan
society. The question of Rwanda's suitability to receive
case transfers, likewise touches on an issue of critical
importance to the GOR, good governance, which is at the
heart of its leaders' vision for the future of this country.
END COMMENT.
CASPER

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