The final day of the genocide trial began at 8am, as Judge Yassmín Barrios convened earlier in order to accommodate a hearing in Judge Carol Patricia Flores’ court at 8:15am.
The proceedings were short, as expected. José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez was given the opportunity to make a request to the court and he made a brief statement. He stated his innocence, reiterating his defense attorney arguments that he did not have the position or power of command to be responsible for the acts of genocide and crimes against humanity.
Judge Barrios then declared the public oral debate of the genocide case trial concluded, marking the end of proceedings with a resounding pound of her gavel. She announced the verdict would be given at 4pm MDT today. Judges Barrios, Pablo Xitumul and Patricia Bustamante then left for deliberations. Many members of the press and observers in the public gallery decided to remain in the courtroom throughout the day, in order to be assured of seating for the 4pm verdict.
As the judges began their deliberations, Judge Carol Patricia Flores held a parallel hearing at 8:15am, in accordance with a Constitutional Court resolution ordering her to reconsider her April 18 decision. She affirmed her prior decision to roll-back the genocide trial process to November 2011. Representatives of CALDH stated the ruling would not have an impact on the scheduled verdict.
Right now, approximately two hours before the scheduled verdict, the courtroom is already filling up with survivors, supporters, media and human rights observers, all awaiting the outcome of this historic trial. Join us for live tweeting as we broadcast the play-by-play of the verdict: 3pm Pacific, 4pm Mountain, 5pm Central and 6pm Eastern.
NISGUA has provided human rights accompaniment to the witness
organization, the Association for Justice and Reconciliation, and their
lawyers, the Center for Human Rights Legal Action since 2000. We will
continue to bear witness to the truth and bravery of these survivors
throughout this historic trial. To bear witness with us, stay tuned to
our ongoing live Twitter coverage @NISGUA_Guate, like our Facebook page and sign up for email updates.