ICTR defense lawyer Peter Robinson calls for trials delay until case arrest ICTR lawyer Erlinder resolved
Mr. Peter Robinson, an ICTR lawyer, has called for a delay in his client’s ICTR trial until the role of how statements made and positions stated by ICTR defense council will affect the potential for other current and former ICTR lawyers to be arrested internationally in a similar manner to Mr. Erlinder.
Mr Peter Robinson writes:
l. Joseph Nzirorera is scheduled to resume the presentation of his defence case on Monday 7 June 2010 for three days, and then resume again on 21 June 2010. He respectfully moves the Trial Chamber to cancel the three day sitting during the week of 7 June2 010.
2. On 28 May 2010, Peter Erlinder, Lead Counsel for Aloys Ntabakuze at the
ICTR, was arrested in Rwanda on charges of negationism of genocide. According to
reports published in the New York Times, a spokesman of the Rwandan government
said that Mr. Erlinder was accused of “denying the genocide” and “negationism” from
statements he had made at the tribunal in Arusha, as well as “in his books, in
publications.” (emphasis added)
3. Mr. Nzirorera’s defence team deems that it is no longer safe to advocate for an
accused person at this Tribunal. Its members do not wish to subject themselves to
prosecution in Rwanda, which could lead to Interpol arrest warrants as well as Bar
disciplinary proceedings simply for doing their jobs. Therefore, the defence team of Mr.
Nzirorera is not in a position to proceed with his trial until matters relating to Mr.
Erlinder’s arrest are clarified and resolved.
4. Mr. Nzirorera and his defence team urge the President and Registrar of the
Tribunal to use their good offices in the meantime to find a solution to this crisis.
Lead Counsel for Joseph Nzirorera