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Rwanda genocide tribunal seeks more time to complete trials

[JURIST] The prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] Wednesday asked the UN Security Council [official website] to extend the ICTR's mandate so that the court can complete all war crimes trials. Hassan Bubacar Jallow [official profile] said in a report [PDF text] that the recent arrests of several Rwandan genocide suspects meant that the court would not have time to finish several first-instance cases until 2009. Pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1503 (2003) [PDF text], the court is to complete all trials by the end of the year, and to complete all of its work, including appellate review, by 2010. AFP has more.

Also at the UN Wednesday, Russian diplomat Vitaly Churkin [video, interview] called for the closure of both the ICTR and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). There have been significant developments [JURIST news archive] this year in the prosecution of several individuals accused of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and those convicted are now allowed to serve out their sentences in Rwanda. Neither the ICTR nor the ICTY has been able to bring all suspects into custody, and the courts have often been criticized for their slow progress. Churkin asserted that after 2009, national courts should handle any new cases. Novosti has more.

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