Arusha, 18 June 2008 (FH) - The Rwandan government and its partners gathered Monday in Kigali to evaluate the legal reform started in the central African country some five years ago. At the opening of the four-day meeting, the Rwandan Minister for Justice, Tharcisse Karugarama, deplored the recent Chamber decisions of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) not to approve two transfer motions to Kigali of genocide accused persons in detention in Arusha, according to a press release posted on the website of the League for Human Rights in the Great Lakes Region (LDGL).

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LDGL, headquartered in Kigali, is made up of more than twenty associations for the defence of human rights in Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The ICTR chambers denied the transfers of Businessmen Yusuf Munyakazi (73) and Gaspard Kanyarukiga (63), on grounds that they may not get a fair trial. Decisions on three other transfer motions are awaited.
The Kigali meeting is also attended by international organizations for human rights, including the New York-based Human Right Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AU), which have often criticized Rwanda’s justice system .These two organizations were also opposed to the recent transfer cases. HRW even filed written arguments which were taken into account in the two proceedings.
The transfer of cases to national courts was part of the completion strategy of this UN tribunal, which has been directed to complete all first instance trials by end of December. However, the ICTR has asked for one more year for smooth completion of pending cases and trials of new arrests.
The Arusha-based tribunal has already rendered 30 convictions and 5 acquittals.