The Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Mr. Hassan Bubacar Jallow on Friday 21 July 2006 held a meeting with the Rwandan President Paul Kagame at State House, Kiyovu in Kigali.
Mr. Jallow who was in the country on an official visit from 17-24 July 2006 paid a visit to the Rwandan Head of State to brief him on the progress of the work at the Tribunal and the preparations for the transfer of cases to Rwanda.
Speaking to the media, the ICTR Prosecutor pointed out that efforts were being made to see that those who committed crimes and are still at large are arrested before the Tribunal winds up its work in 2008.
Mr. Martin Ngoga, the Rwandan Prosecutor General who was present at the meeting, told journalists that the Rwandan Government was committed to receiving the genocide suspects from Arusha, and that everything possible was being done to that effect, including the revision of some laws. He emphasized that other requirements like putting in place the required infrastructure of a modern prison had also been met.
Earlier, in a separate meeting, held on Thursday 20 July 2006 with Mr. Martin Ngoga and other senior Judicial Officials, Mr. Hassan Jallow said that the transfer of cases may start early next year. The two parties also discussed matters concerning the Completion Strategy of the Tribunal. Mr. Ngoga told journalists that the requirement of the abolition of the death penalty in conformity with International Justice Standards is under consideration along with other amendments in the Penal Code, to pave the way for the trials.
Mr. Jallow also met the Committee of Rwandan Senate in charge of Political Affairs and Good Governance.
He met with representatives of the Civil Society, the Bar Association and Lawyers without Borders to get their opinion on the state of readiness of Rwanda to handle cases of referral.
Finally, Mr. Jallow met with Ambassadors of member states of the European Union in Kigali as well as with the Chargé d’Affaires of the American Embassy to brief them on progress of trials in Arusha, the tracking of fugitives and preparations for the referral of cases to other states, including Rwanda under Rule 11bis of the ICTR Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
Before ending his mission, Mr. Jallow held a press conference with the Rwandan Media where he briefed them on the outcome of the meetings he held with the Rwandan President and other officials and the current status of the work at the Tribunal.
The Prosecutor was accompanied by Mr. Stephen Rapp, the Chief of the Prosecutions in Arusha and Senior Trial Attorney Richard Karegyesa.