Home NewsNational Kwibuka 30: How One Lawyer Needled The Belgian Justice System Into Trying Genocide Cases

Kwibuka 30: How One Lawyer Needled The Belgian Justice System Into Trying Genocide Cases

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
10:11 am

Kigali Genocide Memorial

European lawyers have admitted having understood that something evil was taking place in Rwanda, but the first interventions to have the suspects brought before court were a nightmare because of several pulling factors.

The President of ERCN Justice et Democratie Eric Gillet who was at the International Conference on Kwibuka 30, said that indeed, they had covered Rwanda and realized that the leadership was trying a Genocide.

He therefore said, they followed the trends with an informed perspective, and started drafting the first cases and filed them before the Belgium Prosecution even before the Genocide was halted.

“At that time, we were hopeless; we had little experience on the legal proceeding of mass murder. The issue was to have something happened, said, just to have a trial take place,” Gillet said.

According to Gillet, at that time, Belgium which was considered as the pioneer in pursuit on mass murder crimes had their universal jurisdiction provisions approved a couple of months earlier(1993).

“There was immobility of judicial players to an extent that we filed the case and nothing much had happened six months later,” Gillet said.

The game changer would be a press conference which was conducted where Gillet and colleagues accused the minister of Justice to support Genocide perpetrators.

“It is at this level that, to prove us wrong, the Minister put in place an investigating judge. The latter made a team and started work,” he said.

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