PRESS RELEASE (non official - for media information only)
Arusha, 20 June 2006
ICTR Appeals Chamber takes Judicial Notice of Genocide in Rwanda
The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on 16 June 2006 ruled that the Trial Chambers must take judicial notice of the following facts:
This land mark decision was delivered by the Appeals Chamber on Prosecutor's Appeal on Judicial Notice, dated 16 June 2006, in the trial of Prosecutor v. Karemera, Ngirumpatse and Nzirorera, ICTR-98-44-AR73 (C). The decision will have an immediate impact on the trial proceedings in the Karemera et al case, and will be felt in all of the current and pending trials before the Trial Chambers of the ICTR. Judicial notice of the above matters means that they are to be taken as established beyond any dispute and not requiring any proof.
This is one of the most significant rulings of the Tribunal, given the consequences in terms of putting the occurrence of the genocide beyond legal dispute. It can be recalled that until now the OTP has had to in each case lead evidence and prove the occurrence of the genocide. This will no longer be necessary.
In the view of the OTP the ruling should now silence the ‘rejectionist’ camp which has been disputing the occurrence of genocide. By relieving the OTP of a substantial burden of proof the ruling has the potential to shorten the cases as each will essentially focus on the personal involvement of the accused person in genocide.
information please consult our website: http://www.ictr.org
or contact the
Public Affairs & Information Unit, ICTR Arusha International Conference Centre,
PO Box 6016, Arusha, Tanzania
Telephone: 1 (212) 963 2850 or 255 27 250 4367-72;
Fax: 1 (212) 963 2848 or 255 27 250 4000/250 4373;