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L

Defense Counsel
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Philippe Larochelle

Canada

Philippe Larochelle reflects on his experience as Defense Counsel, speaking to the many areas where he perceives the ICTR to have failed. He draws attention to allegations that the Tribunal has been politicized by its reluctance to prosecute members of the RPF. He observes that international pressure to secure timely convictions has been prioritized over the genuine pursuit of justice. He addresses the inequities between defense and prosecution teams, as well as the difficulties of securing political asylum for the acquitted.

Philippe Larochelle speaks on...

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President and Judge
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Dennis Byron

St. Kitts & Nevis

Dennis Byron expresses satisfaction at the approach to reconciliation taken by the UN in Rwanda. He highlights the responsibility of Tribunal judges to ensure that justice is conducted fairly and impartially, and appears as such in both process and result. He notes that, in addition to delivering justice, the Tribunal also creates a factual record of events that occurred. He expresses frustration with the Tribunal for the unsatisfactory length of trials, inefficiencies in administration and infrastructure, and the extradition process of suspects.

Dennis Byron speaks on...

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Chief Prosecutor
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Hassan Jallow

The Gambia

Hassan Jallow emphasizes the need for extra-legal responses to post-conflict reconciliation and calls for the involvement of local communities in the justice process. He discusses the challenges of prosecuting gender violence and its role as an act of genocide. Jallow refutes the notion that the Court has delivered ‘victor’s justice’, drawing attention to an investigation into war crimes committed by RPF forces. He suggests that the process of holding leaders accountable is feasible at the international level.

Hassan Jallow speaks on...

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Registrar
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Adama Dieng

Senegal

Adama Dieng discusses the challenges of establishing the ‘rape as genocide’ jurisprudence, the importance of training defense counsel, and the need to strengthen Africa’s national courts. In his reflections on the important role played by Gacaca in Rwanda’s healing, he emphasizes the serious challenges that domestic justice has posed to witness protection, as well as the need to avoid ‘victor’s justice'. He stresses the importance of the presumption of innocence at the international level while advocating for compassion for detainees.

Adama Dieng speaks on...

A

Spokesperson for the Tribunal
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Roland Amoussouga

Togo

Roland Amoussouga discusses his extensive history working for the UN and with the Rwanda Tribunal. As Chief of External Relations he describes the function and operation of the strategic planning section of the Tribunal and reflects on the difficulty of working in Kigali immediately following the genocide. He highlights the need to train and prepare staff members sent to work in post-conflict situations, and emphasizes the need to create training manuals for humanitarian workers placed in conflict situations in the future.

Roland Amoussouga speaks on...

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Chief Librarian
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Angeline Djampou

Cameroon

Angeline Djampou describes the facilities provided by the ICTR library and the different groups using library services. She speaks about embedded prejudices towards Hutus at the Tribunal, and the challenges of working with detainees, drawing attention to the importance of the presumption of innocence. Djampou reflects on travelling to Rwanda as part of her ICTR induction and stresses the importance of this experience for her work. She notes that many of those working at the Tribunal have never travelled to Rwanda.

Angeline Djampou speaks on...

B

Chief Interpreter
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François Bembatoum

Cameroon

François Bembatoum speaks to the challenges of translating testimonies at the ICTR, emphasizing the necessity to remain neutral when translating emotional or graphic material, and noting that important nuances described by witnesses can be easily lost in translation. He draws attention to the gradual desensitization of Tribunal staff to human suffering as a result of their work, advocating strongly for trained medical professionals to provide psychological support to Tribunal personnel, as well as to detainees and witnesses.

François Bembatoum speaks on...

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Defense Counsel
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Charles Taku

Cameroon

Charles Taku discusses the failure of the ICTR to prosecute RPF members. He refers to a form of ‘judicial genocide’ through which Hutu victims are denied justice and the Tribunal perpetuates violence through impunity. He notes that the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) should investigate crimes based onthe acts committed rather than on ethnicity or political affiliation. Taku also discusses the controversial principle of joint criminal enterprise which he claims has been abused by the OTP to indict individuals without sufficient evidence.

Charles Taku speaks on...

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Prosecutor
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Charles Phillips

Great Britain

Charles Phillips discusses the impact of the UN’s requirement for broad regional, linguistic and racial representation at the Tribunal, which influences recruitment policies. He further emphasizes the need for practitioners, and especially judges, to understand the cultural context of Rwanda when considering evidence. Phillips reflects on the treatment of victims and witnesses in Court, on the merits and shortcomings of adversarial and inquisitorial legal approaches, and the need to involve Rwandans in the justice process.

Charles Phillips speaks on...

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Judge
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Inés Weinberg de Roca

Argentina

Inés Weinberg de Roca draws attention to the difficulties of straddling common law and civil law systems, highlighting the major differences between adversarial and investigative approaches in the courtroom. She discusses the importance of involving locals in proceedings, reflecting on the benefits that would have arisen from locating the Tribunal in Rwanda. She speculates that it may have been preferable to wait until Rwanda could house the court domestically, or to have based the Tribunal in Europe where better infrastructure would facilitate proceedings.

Inés Weinberg de Roca speaks on...

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Acting Chief of Prosecutions
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Richard Karegyesa

Uganda

Richard Karegyesa reflects on the relationship between the ICTR and domestic justice systems, discussing transfer of cases and the capacity of Rwanda’s judiciary. Karegyesa discusses best practices for the prosecution, the protection of witnesses and prosecuting rape as a crime of genocide. He draws attention to the differences between prosecuting rape as an international crime and a domestic crime and comments on the importance of creating a historical record to protect against revisionist histories.

Richard Karegyesa speaks on...

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Appeals Counsel
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Linda Bianchi

Canada

Linda Bianchi explains her work with the Office of Appeals and draws attention to the challenges of remaining objective when working with issues of rape and genocide. Bianchi asserts the need for investigators and prosecutors to receive specialized training to deal with gender-based crimes and in order to avoid the re-traumatization of witnesses during the trial process. She recounts her own visits to Rwanda and stresses the importance of visiting the country for ICTR personnel.

Linda Bianchi speaks on...

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Senior Legal Advisor
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Mandiaye Niang

Senegal

Mandiaye Niang describe the early years of UN investigations and procedures, and recounts being traumatized by his initial experiences in the field listening to the stories of witnesses. He claims that these experiences increased his sensitivity to the needs of Rwandan people. He notes that the Tribunal’s capacity building initiatives have helped strengthen Rwanda’s judicial sector, indicating that these initiatives have transformed attitudes of Rwandans from initial distrust and criticism to feelings of ownership and support.

Mandiaye Niang speaks on...

Translator
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Colette Ngoya

Cameroon

Colette Ngoya reflects on her role as translator during the early days of investigations in Kigali, Rwanda, and later during trial proceedings in Arusha, Tanzania. She addresses challenges of translating difficult material, such as evidence and witness statements regarding rape and killings. Ngoya also discusses difficulties in translating legal terminology, learning differences between civil and common law systems, and with the Tribunal’s system for three-way translation using English, French, and Kinyarwanda. She emphasizes the importance of public education in law.

Colette Ngoya speaks on...

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Acting Chief of Investigations
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David Wagala

South Africa

David Wagala shares his experience conducting field investigations for the Tribunal offices in Kigali. He describes the distress experienced by investigators when first interviewing witnesses about rape and sexual violence, the lack of official training for these kinds of investigations, and the need to adapt mentally and emotionally to such tasks. He refers to new guidelines for questioning victims so as not to result in further trauma. He discusses procedures for approaching witnesses, ensuring their safety and security, and detecting deceit.

David Wagala speaks on...

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Investigator
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Roger Pionana

Madagascar

Roger Pionana discusses his experience as an investigator in Rwanda, speaking in particular to the ICTR’s use of female investigator teams when seeking information about gender-based violence. He addresses investigation strategies in a situation where large numbers of people were involved with the crimes. Pionana speaks to the difficulty of finding witnesses in the early days after the genocide, when many Rwandans had fled the country, and describes the process of approaching possible witnesses for the first time.

Roger Pionana speaks on...

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Judge
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Erik Møse

Norway

Erik Møse addresses the mission of the ICTR, his role and contributions as both judge and Vice President of the court. He speaks about the various lessons learned by the institution; the need to increase efficiency by adding trial judges and establishing a separate prosecutor dedicated to the ICTR and not shared with the ICTY, and amending the court rules of procedure and evidence. He discusses the relationship between common and civil law, and between judges and court interpreters. He speaks about the cases he has been involved in, and about the role of victims in the justice process.

Erik Møse speaks on...

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Chief of Appeals
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Alex Obote Odora

Uganda

Alex Obote Odora speaks about the responsibilities of African states in creating peace and stability in the great lakes region and across Africa. He talks about the importance of education in upholding human rights and the necessity for justice capacity building. Odora also offers his opinion on the quality of defense counsel, the implications of maintaining the highest international standards, and the need to delink criminal prosecutions from the broader goals of reconciliation.

Alex Obote Odora speaks on...

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Program Director
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Jean-Pele Fomete

Cameroon

Jean-Pele Fomete speaks about his role in court management services, overseeing legal aid and capacity building for pan-African justice systems. He highlights the need for civil society support to make the Tribunal a success, which has been challenging in Rwanda. He also comments on the lack of infrastructure in Africa, and the difficulty in mobilizing resources and ensuring adequate access to information about the Tribunal's work. He discusses the positive and negative impacts of the ICTR and international human rights standards on Rwanda's justice system.

Jean-Pele Fomete speaks on...

S

Defense Counsel
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Claver Sindayigaya

Rwanda

Claver Sindayigaya explains how cases against the accused are handled at the ICTR, and how most of the accused were arrested in places outside of Rwanda. He discusses the transfer of trials from Arusha to Rwanda and the criticisms that the accused would not get a fair trial in Rwanda, how the Rwandan judiciary does not yet have the capacity to handle these cases, and how defense witnesses would not be free to speak in favor of the accused. He also discusses the lengthiness of trials-- including one client waiting for 14 years for judgment-- as a significant criticism. He discusses the different defense strategies used in multiple-accused cases, and the advantages of being a defense counsel from Rwanda.

Claver Sindayigaya speaks on...

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Information Officer
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Straton Musonera

Rwanda

Straton Musonera discusses his experience working on outreach and capacity building programs for the ICTR, including capacity building of the judicial sector in Rwanda. He addresses the special insight and knowledge he has as Rwandan working for the Tribunal. Musonera explains the challenge of working daily with testimony and information about the genocide, yet also needing to retain a certain distance from it to function professionally. He emphasizes the need for an outreach program for courts such as the ICTR around the world, to ensure that people know justice is being pursued.

Straton Musonera speaks on...

A

Senior Legal Officer
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Roland Adjovi

Benin

Roland Adjovi compares the structure of the ICTR to other international tribunals and describes the ICTR's broad mandate for establishing peace and reconciliation. Adjovi discusses his early aspirations to improve the ICTR. He reflects on a proud moment in the case of Michel Bagaragaza, a case expected to be transferred to Norway but held back because Norway had failed to implement the Genocide Convention into domestic law. This decision prompted Norway to enact new laws, thus improving its legal system.

Roland Adjovi speaks on...

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Chief of Press and Public Affairs
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Bocar Sy

Senegal

Bocar Sy discusses his responsibilities at the ICTR Press Office and the many obstacles he had to overcome to create an effective media program. Two key challenges included the fact that the ICTR initially saw no need for a press office and the severe limitations on communication posed by an inadequate technological infrastructure in Arusha. Sy speaks about the various methods used by the Press Office to disseminate information about the ICTR to the public.

Bocar Sy speaks on...

Legal Assistant
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Avi Singh

India

Avi Singh speaks about his experiences defending Jerome Bicamumpaka, posing the question: Are all government members responsible if genocide occurs in their country? In other remarks, he critiques the legal aid structure at the ICTR, claiming the United Nations is plagued by inefficiency. He stresses the importance of high quality defense to avoid political prosecutions, and discusses the problem of hearsay in witness testimonies. Singh comments that alleged perpetrators of genocide typically view themselves as victims of an international conspiracy.

Avi Singh speaks on...

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Chief of Information and Evidence
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Ayodeji Fadugba

Nigeria

Ayodeji Fadugba discusses her role overseeing the management and security of evidence. She describes the ways in which information security has evolved at the Tribunal and differentiates between processes of collecting and storing evidence. She reflects on the ICTR as a method of 'crisis management' immediately following the events in Rwanda, but states that as details of particular cases unfolded, the ICTR's role in documenting events shifted. She reflects on her personal emotional response following the release of a judgment.

Ayodeji Fadugba speaks on...

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Staff Psychologist
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Jorge Sierralta

Peru

Jorge Sierralta talks about his role as a psychologist and social counselor for the United Nations and reflects on the challenges of working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. He discusses his work as a counselor at the ICTR, including the mental health education and support services that have been introduced. Sierralta describes various coping mechanisms employed by Tribunal staff as well as the stigma associated with seeking counseling.

Jorge Sierralta speaks on...

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Prison Operations Officer
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Ellis Odjurhe

Nigeria

Ellis Odjurhe speaks about his responsibilities as a Prison Operations Officer where he oversees the daily operations of the Tribunal’s detention facilities. He stresses the need for improved security measures to adequately protect detainees and prison staff. He also emphasizes the need for rules to apply equally to judges, lawyers, investigators and others. Odjurhe further calls attention to the Tribunal’s humanitarian and high quality detention services that stand in contrast with the poverty and harassment many detainees face after release.

Ellis Odjurhe speaks on...

C

Senior Officer of External Relations
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Alessandro Caldarone

Italy

Alessandro Caldarone compares his experiences at the ICTR with his time at the EU-Human Rights Mission in Rwanda providing technical assistance. Calderone reflects on a personal eye-opening moment during the defense of accused genocidaires when he realized that the perpetrators were not monsters but human beings. He questions the concept of 'victim' in the Rwandan context where everybody is, in some sense, victimized. He also suggests that the ICTR should be considered an extension of Rwandan justice.

Alessandro Caldarone speaks on...

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Public Information Assistant
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Charles Kamuru

Rwanda

Charles Kamuru discusses his role as a public information assistant at the Information Center in Kigali, distributing information between the Tribunal, various media outlets and the public outreach program. He discusses the methods of outreach used by the Information Center to inform the Rwandan public about the work, mandate and progress of the Tribunal. He also speaks about the training offered by the Information Center to legal practitioners in Rwanda to assist them in accessing ICTR documentation.

Charles Kamuru speaks on...

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Archivist
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Theo Nkembe

Cameroon

Theo Nkembe talks about how he has been personally impacted by watching footage from the genocide in his role as an ICTR archivist, noting that images from the tapes haunt him ten years later. Nkembe then discusses the responsibilities associated with preserving ICTR records, reflecting that people often have political motives for seeking access to archival material. As such, security must be a top concern. Nkembe also expresses surprise that so many accused have failed to accept responsibility for their actions.

Theo Nkembe speaks on...

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Senior Appeals Counsel
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Christine Graham

Sweden

Christine Graham discusses the considerable length of ICTR cases, due in part to the unusual nature of the crimes and to an initial lack of infrastructure. She reflects that judicial systems usually are built over hundreds of years, yet the ICTR was tasked with building a justice system in roughly a decade. She observes that while the Tribunal contributes to reconciliation by providing a judicial response to the genocide, the mandate for reconciliation had little influence on the judicial procedures.

Christine Graham speaks on...

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Information Network Assistant
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Optatus Nchimbi

Tanzania

Optatus Nchimbi outlines his information management responsibilities at the ICTR. He explains the evolution of processes for archiving audio and visual materials collected and generated by the Tribunal. He comments on the importance of different levels of security and access to trial archives for Tribunal personnel that depend on role and seniority. In addition, speaking in his role as President of the ICTR Staff Association, Nchimbi describes the Association’s purpose and discusses various tensions between staff and their supervisors.

Optatus Nchimbi speaks on...

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Translator
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Ololade Benson

Nigeria

Ololade Benson speaks about her role as a translator and the challenges of communicating sensitive material such as witness statements concerning rapes and killings. She discusses her personal engagement with an international non-profit organization that she founded in 1998 to help single mothers, widows and children in Rwanda. She emphasizes the importance of transparency and accountability for charitable organizations operating in post-conflict settings. Benson draws attention to the targeting and suffering of women in Rwanda during and after the genocide.

Ololade Benson speaks on...

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Judge
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Emile Short

Ghana

Emile Short discusses the importance of creating an accurate historical record of events in Rwanda. He reflects on the ICTR’s contributions to generating a rich body of jurisprudence that future tribunals can draw upon. Short remarks that the ad hoc tribunals have not provided as many direct avenues to reconciliation as might have been provided by other mechanisms. That said he recognizes that reconciliation is a long and complex process of which justice is an important part, particularly for victims.

Emile Short speaks on...

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Judge
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Asoka de Silva

Sri Lanka

Asoka de Silva describes the challenges of coming from a common law background to the ICTR hybrid system that incorporates both common and civil law traditions. He notes that despite stark differences, the two legal traditions share a common goal: the impartial administration of justice. De Silva reflects that while the Tribunal might have benefited from being located in Rwanda, this could have compromised the possibility of fair trials. De Silva comments on the process of convicting and sentencing defendants.

Asoka de Silva speaks on...

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Legal Officer and Juris-Linguist
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Suzanne Chenault

United States

Suzanne Chenault discusses the importance of establishing jurisprudence that will pave the way for future international tribunals, and offers some reflections on the Akayesu case which was the first case to address rape as genocide. Chenault stresses the need for investigators to have deep contextual and linguistic knowledge of the communities they are working with, especially when collecting evidence around sensitive topics such as rape. She stresses the lack of communication among different trial chambers within ICTR as a core challenge.

Suzanne Chenault speaks on...

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Senior Legal Advisor
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Mohammed Ayat

Morocco

Mohammed Ayat characterizes his role as an 'ambassador' fostering cooperation among the ICTR, Rwandan authorities, and other countries. He comments on the ICTR’s importance as the ‘African Nuremberg.’ Looking to the future of international justice, Ayat emphasizes the International Criminal Court's principle of complementarity: that the international community should only intervene when domestic courts prove unwilling or unable to prosecute international crimes. Ayat discusses the complexities of encouraging victims to testify at the ICTR without making them feel pressured.

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Senior Trial Attorney
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William Egbe

Cameroon

William Egbe discusses the ways in which the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) has evolved during his ten years at the ICTR. He describes the OTP selection processes for determining which perpetrators should face trial. He also compares the sentencing processes at the ICTR with those at other international tribunals such as the ICTY. Egbe identifies the limitations of the ICTR Statute and discusses the impacts of these on the Tribunal’s work. He highlights best practices for new international tribunals.

William Egbe speaks on...

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Acting Chief of Investigations
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Alfred Kwende

Cameroon

Alfred Kwende contrasts investigating small-scale crimes in domestic jurisdictions with the unique challenges of investigating crimes against humanity and acts of genocide in Rwanda. He explains the process of selecting ICTR cases and how the investigation process has evolved over time. Kwende discusses his frustrations at the lack of properly trained investigators selected by the ICTR at its inception. He also reviews the difficulties associated with capturing and arresting accused individuals and ensuring cooperation from other states.

Alfred Kwende speaks on...

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Judge
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Lee Muthoga

Kenya

Lee Muthoga compares the cases of Casimir Bizimungu and Mikaeli Muhimana, reflecting on the difficulties of determining the guilt of implicit political action as opposed to explicit individual action. Muthoga discusses the unique challenges posed by a hybrid jurisprudential system, stressing the need for judges to have investigatory capacity as typical of civil law systems. He calls for mandatory induction courses for new Tribunal personnel and notes that many staff may require counseling as a result of their work.

Lee Muthoga speaks on...

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Detention Warden
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Saidou Guindo

Mali

Saidou Guindo discusses the detention facilities used to house those accused and indicted by the ICTR in Arusha. He describes instances where inmates went on hunger strikes in protest against decisions taken by the Tribunal. Guindo also comments on the common critique that the ICTR detention facilities are far more comfortable than those in Rwanda that house people indicted for lesser offences. Guindo asserts that the ICTR has a duty to meet the minimum detention standards guaranteed under international law.

Saidou Guindo speaks on...

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Information Officer
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Innocent Kamanzi

Rwanda

Innocent Kamanzi, a Rwandan national, talks about first hearing about the genocide from family and the media while living abroad in Burundi in 1994. Kamanzi traveled back to Rwanda after the genocide to work as a journalist for Radio Rwanda and began working with the ICTR in 2000. He states that he did not recognize the value of international justice before working for the ICTR and emphasizes the importance of prosecuting those who planned and organized the genocide.

Innocent Kamanzi speaks on...

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Defense Counsel
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Beth Lyons

United States

Beth Lyons highlights the importance of a fair trial for all. She discusses the politicization of ICTR prosecutions, particularly the failure to investigate war crimes committed by the Rwandan Patriot Front (RPF). She states she has found no evidence of a plan to commit genocide by those accused by the Tribunal, which she views as a key difference between the events in Rwanda and the Holocaust. Lyons reflects on the inequity of resources between the prosecution and defense.

Beth Lyons speaks on...

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Deputy Registrar
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Everard O'Donnell

England

Everard O'Donnell discusses the unique characteristics of ad hoc tribunals and the challenges of coordinating multinational ad litem judges. He notes that the ICTR has been effective at tracking and capturing international fugitives such as Jean-Paul Akayesu. Although the ICTR has been criticized for providing ‘victor’s justice’, O’Donnell stresses its efforts to deliver justice impartially. He reflects on the case of Mika Muhimana who was convicted of genocide, but later had his conviction overturned by the Court of Appeal.

Everard O'Donnell speaks on...

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Chief of Language Services
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Justine Ndongo-Keller

Cameroon

Justine Ndongo-Keller describes various roles within the Language Services Department at the ICTR, clarifying differences among interpreters, translators and reviewers. She stresses the importance of effective, high-quality translation for the Tribunal’s overall success, as well as the significance of review in the translation process. An original member of the language services team, Ndongo-Keller also provides a perspective on the department’s evolution. She comments on the personal toll to individuals in language services from extensive exposure to materials about the genocide.

Justine Ndongo-Keller speaks on...

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Associate Legal Officer
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M-L. Lambert

England

M-L Lambert describes her personal relationship with convicted genocidaire Hassan Ngeze, who she worked closely with at the Tribunal. She speaks at length about her responsibilities researching and drafting judgments for Military 1, reflecting on the difficulties of assessing the credibility of witnesses and evidence in a post-genocide climate. She talks about the harrowing evidence presented to the court and recounts the case against Colonel Bagasora who was accused of masterminding the genocide against the Tutsis.

M-L. Lambert speaks on...

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Defense Counsel
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Benoît Henry

Canada

Benoît Henry speaks about his first ICTR appointment defending Andre Ntagerura, who was accused and acquitted of genocide. Henry reflects on a major shortcoming of the Tribunal surfaced by Mr. Ntagerura's acquittal: the question of what happens to accused genocidaires after they are acquitted? Mr. Ntagerura remained in UN custody because no country, including Tanzania, was willing to accept him. Henry further suggests that to perform their role effectively, defense counsel must distance themselves from the events of the genocide.

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Judge
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Arlette Ramaroson

Madagascar

Arlette Ramaroson reflects on her controversial dissenting opinion in the case of Juvénal Kajeljeli, in which Kajeljeli was acquitted for crimes against humanity. In her dissent, Ramaroson explains how she drew on the civil law principle of 'intime conviction'. She compares this principle with its common law counterpart of ‘beyond reasonable doubt.’ In addition, Ramaroson speaks about the need to retain judicial impartiality, even in the context of the events of genocide.

Arlette Ramaroson speaks on...