Press Release . Communiqué de presse
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
|OFFICE OF THE PROSECUTOR
|BUREAU DU PROCUREUR
The Hague, 1 May 1998
STATEMENT BY PROSECUTOR LOUISE ARBOUR
REGARDING THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR RWANDA
"THE GUILTY PLEA ENTERED BY JEAN KAMBANDA IS A SIGNIFICANT EVENT BOTH FOR THE INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL AND FOR RWANDA"
The guilty plea entered this morning in Arusha by Jean Kambanda, the former Prime Minister of the Interim Government of Rwanda between April and July 1994 is a very significant event in the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Kambanda pleaded guilty to six counts including genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and public incitement to genocide, as well as
crimes against humanity. The plea was accepted by the court as a free, voluntary and non-equivocal admission of guilt.
This guilty plea is the result of extensive investigative efforts of the part of the Office of the Prosecutor, and it reflects the Prosecutor’s intention to focus on criminal responsibility at the highest level, in a fair and expeditious manner.
No plea bargaining
Jean Kambanda and the Office of the Prosecutor have entered into a plea agreement, which was filed with the court and which the court ordered not be released publicly at this stage. The agreement contains detailed factual admissions in support of the plea to each of the counts in the indictment. The guilty plea is not the result of any "plea bargaining" and the accused did not
receive any favour or benefit in exchange for his admission of guilt. There has been no agreement entered into with respect to the appropriate sentence, which is entirely within the discretion of the court.
The proceedings have been adjourned to permit the parties to present their respective submissions on the issue of sentencing.
The Prosecutor views the acceptance of responsibility and the detailed admission of guilt by the former Prime Minister as the most significant element of hope for national reconciliation in Rwanda. No amount of punishment, no matter how severe, can be a substitute for the personal expression of guilt and remorse on the part of an individual. In addition to any penalty that the
court may impose, I hope that this admission of guilt will begin to bring some solace to the survivors of the genocide, and that it will encourage others to reflect on the contribution that they can make to peace with justice in Rwanda.