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Last Updated: Friday, 29 August, 2003, 09:14 GMT 10:14 UK
New Rwanda prosecutor named
Hassan Jallow has worked for Del Ponte
A Gambian judge is to be nominated by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as the new chief prosecutor for the Rwanda genocide court.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced Hassan Jallow, 52, a former Gambian Supreme Court judge and solicitor general, as his choice, just hours after the Security Council voted to remove Carla Del Ponte from the role.

She had been chief prosecutor for both the Balkans war crimes tribunal and the Rwanda court for four years, but the council decided to split the two posts, which they considered too much work for one person.

Carla Del Ponte
Del Ponte has led prosecutions at the court in Arusha since 1999
The tribunal, based in Arusha in northern Tanzania, was set up in 1995 to investigate the massacre of some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus by Hutu extremists in 1994.

Despite a large budget, 16 judges and 800 members of staff, only eight people have been convicted so far of genocide-related crimes, with one person acquitted.

Ms Del Ponte will retain her Balkans position when her initial term of office expires on 14 September.

The new prosecutor, who will take charge of cases stemming from the 1994 Rwanda genocide, is currently an appeals judge for the UN-backed court trying war crimes in Sierra Leone.

He has also served as a judge on the Balkans tribunal.

Mismanagement claims

Ms Del Ponte, the former Swiss attorney general, had argued against the split, complaining to the Security Council that she was a victim of undue political pressure from Rwanda, and saying that international justice could be damaged if her duties were shifted.

Ms Del Ponte accused the current government of seeking her removal after she tried also to investigate claims that members of the Tutsi-dominated army killed up to 30,000 Hutus, as it took control of Rwanda in the wake of the genocide.

GENOCIDE IN RWANDA
Genocide skulls in Rwanda

The Rwandan Government has lobbied hard to have its own prosecutor, but insists it is not responsible for Ms Del Ponte's removal.

Rwandans have long argued the International Criminal Tribunal in Arusha has been plagued by mismanagement and a lack of attention from successive prosecutors.

Gerald Gahima, Rwanda's Prosecutor General, said people took "strong exception" to the fact that the investigation of almost one million deaths has been made a "part-time job of a prosecutor based on another continent".

Mr Annan himself recommended that the jobs be separated.

The UN resolution, sponsored by the United States, which the council voted unanimously to support, said the council was convinced that the tribunals "can most efficiently and expeditiously meet their respective responsibilities if each has its own prosecutor".

The new resolution also sets out the timetable for completing the work of both the Rwandan and Balkans tribunals by 2010.

It urges both tribunals to focus on rounding up and prosecuting leaders and allowing cases involving lower ranking suspects to be transferred to national courts instead.




SEE ALSO:
Rwanda's anger over Del Ponte
28 Aug 03  |  Africa
UN prosecutor defends role
08 Aug 03  |  Africa
Extra genocide judges 'no use'
26 Jun 03  |  Africa
Pastor aided Rwanda genocide
19 Feb 03  |  Africa
Profile: Carla Del Ponte
28 Aug 03  |  Europe


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