Hirondelle News Agency reported yesterday that the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will be unable to meet the closure deadline of 31 December 2014 set by the United Nations.
This is because the Tribunal, which has finished its lower court trials, is currently handling a complicated joint appeal of six individuals convicted for their roles in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. The appellants include former Family Affairs Minister Pauline Nyiramashuko, the only woman held by the ICTR and the only woman to be charged with genocide before an international court.
The Appeals Chamber decision in this case is expected to be delivered in July 2015, according to a report on the ICTR website.
This report cites the need for translations of legal documents as the main cause for the delay. These documents include the 1,500 page English language judgment in the trial of Nyiramishuko and her son, Arsène Shalom Ntahobali, who is another of the joint appellants.
The Appeals Chamber is currently handling four other cases involving a total of nine individuals, including the former president and vice-president of the former ruling party MRND of Juvénal Habyarimana, the ex-head of state whose assassination triggered the 1994 genocide. Judgment in these cases is expected by the 31 December 2014 deadline.