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Rwanda president blasts ICTR for inefficiency, conflicts of interest

[JURIST] Rwandan President Paul Kagame [official profile; BBC profile] has criticized the UN-funded International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website; JURIST news archive] as inefficient, and said that several ICTR employees should be testifying before the court for their involvement in the 1994 genocide the court was established to investigate. In a press conference [recorded video] Wednesday, Kagame noted that the ICTR has convicted fewer than 40 people [ICTR backgrounder] since its inception in 1997 at a cost of $1.5 billion US.

In recent months, the ICTR has convicted a former Rwandan mayor for ordering executions, upheld the acquittals of two high-ranking officials, and sentenced a retired army officer to 25 years on genocide charges [JURIST reports]. The ICTR has delivered 26 convictions and three acquittals since its establishment, and the UN has set a 2008 deadline for it to complete trials for 26 other suspects currently under indictment. The Rwandan government estimates the 1994 genocide [BBC backgrounder] left at least 937,000 Tutsis and some Hutus dead. VOA has more.

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