The Trial of General Dallaire

The Trial of General Dallaire


Act I


Scene I


A courtroom. Benches for a judge, lawyers, spectators.


A prisoner is sitting in the dock, a military officer in uniform. Beside him, a lawyer. A prosecutor is shuffling some papers.


Enter two journalists.


1st J,   “They say this trial will go nowhere. He has too many friends. The whole country believes him to be a hero.”


2nd J, Yes, but they always need their scapegoats. If the charges are true the government falls.”


1st J, “The government brought the charges. That makes no sense.”


2nd J, “They were forced to. Too many revelations at the war crimes tribunal, too many stories and the Belgians want his head in revenge for their dead. They brought too much pressure for the government to evade the problem. The government hopes it can control the trial and have him declared innocent.”


1st J, “ What you say may well be true. But don’t see how they can find witnesses against him.”


2nd J, “This prosecutor wants to make his career. They were forced to appoint a lawyer from the opposite faction to give this trial credibility. They say he is intelligent and cares nothing for power. A dangerous man.”


1st J, “A rare thing these days, a dangerous lawyer. It will be interesting to observe.”