Arusha, December 2nd, '99 (Internews/FH) - United Nations war crimes Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte has officially asked the UN Appeals Court to review its decision to release Rwandan genocide suspect Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza. Del Ponte said she has new facts in the case she hopes will prompt the Appeals Court of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to reverse its decision.

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Alternatively, she hopes the court will remove its provision that the release should be "with prejudice" to the Prosecutor. If it did so, this would allow the ICTR to re-arrest Barayagwiza. “I didn't like the decision, but I accepted the decision,” Del Ponte said during a press conference earlier this week. “And after reviewing [the case] we thought we had some good issues to warrant a review. ”On November 3rd, the Appeals Court ordered Barayagwiza's release, saying his rights had been violated due to his prolonged detention without being charged. He had spent 19 months in custody before an indictment was filed. Although she doesn't deny he spent a long time in detention, Del Ponte said it was not at the request of prosecutors. Rather, Barayagwiza was arrested and being detained followingRwanda's bid to bring him to trial. She noted that in October 1996, then prosecutor Louise Arbour informed him that his detention in Cameroon was not at the request of the UN Tribunal. "The Prosecutor respectfully submits that the period of detention between 15 April 1996 to 15 May 1996 cannot be attributed to the Tribunal," Del Ponte argued in the review motion. "The appellant was already under detention following an arrest warrant issued in respect of an application by the Rwandan Government, requesting the extradition to Rwanda of the Appellant, for violations of International Humanitarian Law. ”In making their decision to release, the Appeals Court judges said that during his detention Barayagwiza was never notified of the charges being levelled against him. Del Ponte, however, said that this was untrue and that Barayagwiza was told soon after his arrest of the charges. Del Ponte also argued that during an early hearing in Cameroon, Barayagwiza challenged Rwanda's bid to prosecute him and requested that he be tried by the Tribunal. She says that during that hearing, on May 3rd, 1996, "the Appellant demonstrated a clear knowledge of the nature of the charges against him". She denied allegations that her office was responsible for the nine-month delay in transferring him to Tribunal custody, because Cameroon's Court of Appeals was hearing Rwanda's extradition request. This request was eventually denied. If Del Ponte is granted the option of re-arresting Barayagwiza she would be required to use a new indictment and bring new charges against him. The case was dismissed at a point where a new indictment was still to be confirmed. Some of the charges that Barayagwiza could face include conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity. Barayagwiza's Kenyan defence lawyer Justry Nyaberi declined to comment on Del Ponte's motion, but has said he is confident the decision to release will stand. He has accused Del Ponte of acting for political motives in trying to reverse the Appeal Court decision. The decision caused Rwanda to suspend its cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). It has also been refusing del Ponte a visa to visit her office in Kigali. MK/JC/FH (BR§1203e)THIS REPORT WAS PRODUCED IN COOPERATION WITH INTERNEWS