This is the second Press Conference I am holding since the Tribunal was established at its headquarters here in Arusha in November 1995. I am happy to recognise some of you who were here when the first Press Conference was held on December 12 to announce the indictments of the first eight accused. I welcome you all back here and also those of you who are visiting our headquarters for the first time.
For this conference, let me begin by telling you briefly what the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has done during this period of less than a year since its establishment here. As you have seen from a series of press releases which my office has been issuing to announce specific occurrences at our Tribunal, the following major events have taken place:
1) Individual judges have sat in Chambers to review indictments and issue warrants of arrest of those suspected.
2) The Trial Chambers have been convened to hear deferral requests brought by the Prosecutor in relation to cases involving the governments of Belgium, Switzerland and Cameroon.
3) A judge has also sat in Chamber to consider the request from the Prosecutor, addressed to the Government of Cameroon to provisionally detain and transfer to the custody of the Tribunal a number of suspects for investigation and possible indictment by the Tribunal. The Order by the Judge was announced in an open session of the Tribunal granting the Prosecutor's request.
Accordingly, between November 28 1995, when the first indictments were confirmed in Chamber, and May 17 1996, when the Order for provisional detention and transfer was made, the Tribunal has performed a number of tasks towards the fulfilment of its mandate.
Today , Ladies and Gentlemen, the most important news is that the Tribunal has now under its custody in Arusha, three accused. Two of the three accused: Georges Anderson Nderubumwe Rutaganda and Jean-Paul Akayesu had been arrested and detained by the Government of Zambia in Lusaka. They were transferred to the Tribunal's custody in Arusha on Sunday 26 May 1996. The third accused, Mr. Clement Kayishema is one of the eight accused who were mentioned in the first indictment; he was also subsequently arrested in Zambia, detained in Lusaka and was also transferred to the custody of the Tribunal in Arusha on Sunday 26 May 1996. As to the four suspects who are provisionally detained in Cameroon, they are: Theoneste Bagosora, Ferdinand Nahimana, Anatole Nsengiyumva, André Ntagerura. Negotiations for their transfer to the Tribunal are undergoing.
Let me now tell you just a little more about these three accused:
1. Georges Anderson Nderubumwe Rutaganda:
Georges Rutaganda was an agricultural engineer and businessman; he was general manager and proprietor of Rutaganda SARL. He was a member of the National and Prefectoral Committees of the "Movement Republicain National pour le Dévelopment et la Democratie ("MRND") and a shareholder of Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines ( "RTLM" ). He was also the Second Vice-President of the National Committee of the Interahamwe, the youth militia of the MRND.
He is alleged to have inter alia:
- Ordered Interahamwe members stationed at a roadblock near the "Amgar"garage near Kigali to kill persons with Tutsi identity cards.
- On or about April 11 1994, immediately after the Belgium soldiers withdrew from ETO School, members of the Rwandan armed forces, the gendarmarie and militia, including the Interahamwe, attacked ETO School and using machetes, grenades and guns, killed people who had sought refuge there.
2. Clement Kavishema:
Clement Kayishema was the Prefect of Kibuye and exercised control over the Prefecture of Kibuye, including his subordinates in the executive branch and members of the gendarmerie nationale. He was appointed to the position of Prefect of Kibuye on July 3 1992 and remained so until his departure to Zaire in July 1994.
He is alleged with seven others, to have inter alia
- Ordered the killing of Tutsis in Kibuye Prefecture.
In furtherance of the aims of this conspiracy, between 9 April and 30 June 1994 murdered and assisted in the murders of Tutsis throughout Kibuye Prefecture including the massacres at the Catholic church and Home St. Jean complex, the massacres at the stadium in Kibuye town, the massacres at the church in Mubuga and the massacres in the Area of Bisesero.
3. Jean-Paul Akayesu:
Jean-Paul Akayesu served as Bourgmestre of Taba Commune from April 1993 until June 1994. As a Bourgmestre, Jean-Paul Akayesu was responsible for executive functions and the maintenance of public order within his commune, subject to the authority of the Prefect. He had exclusive control over the communal police, as well as many gendarmes, put at the disposition of the Commune. He was also responsible for the execution of laws and regulations and the administration of justice, also subject only to the prefect's authority.
- At least 2,000 Tutsis are alleged to have been killed in Taba Commune between 7 April and June 1994 while he was still in power. The killings in Taba were openly committed and so widespread that as bourgmestre, Jean-Paul Akayesu must have known about them. Although he had the authority and responsibility to do so, Jean-Paul Akayesu never attempted to prevent the killing of Tutsis in the Commune or called for assistance from regional or national authorities to quell the violence.
These three accused made their first appearances before the Tribunal on 30-31 of May 1996 and pleaded not guilty to all charges, with the assistance of defence lawyers who had been assigned to them by the Tribunal following my determination that they were indigent. The dates for the trials of the accused has been set as follows:
(a) Jean-Paul Akayesu -26 September 1996
(b) Georges Anderson Nderubumwe Rutaganda -17 October 1996
(c) Clement Kayishema -7 November 1996
May I, on behalf of the Tribunal as a whole express sincere gratitude to the Government of Zambia for the exemplary co-operation it has given to the Tribunal in connection with the arrest, provisional detention and transfer of the accused to the Tribunal's custody.
Let me then turn briefly to the four suspects held in detention in Cameroon as described in the document submitted to the Tribunal by the Prosecutor:
1. Théoneste Bagosora:
Theoneste Bagosora was Director of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Defence under the regime of former President Habyarimana and effectively in-charge on 6 April 1994. He was appointed Director of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Defence in June 1992. Though retired in September 1993, he remained Director of Cabinet until the events of April 1994. He was a part of the President's inner circle. Within hours of the attack against the Presidential plane on 6 April 1994, Théoneste Bagosora allegedly assumed de facto control of the country and the army. On 6 April 1994, he allegedly presided over a meeting of the "Crisis Committee" composed of military officials. He is suspected of having been the number one person responsible for the military options and decisions made at the time and it appears he took no steps to prevent the massacres. He is designated by many witnesses as the sponsor and number one person responsible for the massacres.
On 7 April 1994, he was allegedly informed that UNAMIR's Belgium soldiers were under serious threat in the military camp in Kigali, but allegedly took no steps at the time to protect them, though he was in a meeting with the crisis Committee.
2. Ferdinand Nahimana:
Ferdinand Nahimana was a director and Senior Administrative Officer of RTLM and exercised control over its day to day operations. He allegedly was involved in the planning and formation of RTLM, whose real motive was to broadcast hate propaganda. Ferdinand Nahimana was one of the eight (8) initial members of the "Comité d'Initiative" and was also a member of the Commission of Technique and Broadcasting. He was the ideologist.
3. Anatolé Nsengiyumva:
Colonel Anatolé Nsengiyumva was the Chief of Intelligence of the Rwandan Army (G2) until he was appointed to the post of Commander of military operations of the Prefecture of Gisenyi following the publication of documents written by him and entitled: "Definition and Identification of ENI ("enemy"). Article 1 stated that the main enemies were the Tutsi from inside and outside Rwanda. In April 1994, he was still in command of military operations in Gisenyi.
- He allegedly co-operated regularly with the Head of the Gendarmerie, some elements of which, along with elements of the Anny, supported the militiamen responsible for the massacres perpetrated in various places in the Prefecture of Gisenyi especially in the Parish of Nyundo.
4. André Ntagerura:
André Ntagerura was born in the Commune of Karengera Prefecture of Cyangugu. He was a Minister in the former government. During that time, as a Minister in the Government, André Ntegerura was the highest official in the Prefecture, and was present many times in the Prefecture of Cyangugu. Prior to April 7 1994, André Ntagerura was allegedly involved in the distribution of weapons in the Prefecture of Cyangugu. He allegedly directed the killing of civilians, instigated the population to mass killings and was active in the training of Interahamwe.
There have also been other developments since the Tribunal started its operations. Between 8 and 12 January 1996 the Tribunal held its Second Plenary Session here in Arusha. During this plenary session the Tribunal adopted the following documents:
a) The Directive on Assignment of Defence Counsel approved by the Tribunal on 9 January, 1996.
b) Provisional Rules covering the Detention of Persons Awaiting Trial or Appeal Before the Tribunal or Otherwise Detained on the Authority of the Tribunal, approved by the Tribunal on 9 January 1996.
The T ribunal also amended some provisions of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
All court proceedings have so far been taking place in a temporary courtroom. Work is proceeding swiftly to have two permanent courtrooms ready by September. Work is also proceeding to remodel Block A, so that the permanent premises of both the Registry and the Chambers are located therein as part of the permanent Headquarters.
The section in which we are now, popularly referred to as Simba Hall, will remain exclusitely as Office of the Prosecutor.
Work on the detention facilities of the T ribunal has resulted in the completion of twelve (12) cells, three of which are presently occupied. Twenty eight (28) more cells, making a total of forty (40) are under plan and will be completed by the end of the year.