Arusha, November 19th, '99 (FH) - A spokesman for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Friday denied that the Tribunal was on the point of releasing top genocide suspect Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza. Kingsley Moghalu, who is also special assistant to the ICTR Registrar, told the independent Hirondelle news agency that there were "still a number of issues" which had to be resolved before an Appeal Court decision of November 3rd could be implemented.

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On that date, the Appeal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, ordered Barayagwiza's release on the grounds that procedures had been repeatedly violated during his initial detention in Cameroon and after his transfer to the UN prison in Arusha, Tanzania, on November 19, 1997. The court ordered the ICTR Registry to take steps to hand Barayagwiza back to the Cameroonian authorities. Barayagwiza was a leader of the extremist Hutu CDR party and a founder of the hate radio Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, which incited Hutus to kill Tutsis. He was also foreign policy advisor to the Rwandan interim government that presided over the genocide. His release order has caused the Rwandan government to suspend cooperation with the ICTR. On Thursday, Barayagwiza's Kenyan defence lawyer, Justry Nyaberi, withdrew a motion asking that his client be allowed to choose where he was sent. Nyaberi told Hirondelle that Barayagwiza could be released from the UN prison in Arusha "whenever the Registry is available". "In so far as the motion has been withdrawn, there is nothing outstanding. It could be tomorrow," he told Hirondelle. However, tribunal spokesman Moghalu said the Registry was still awaiting a response from the Cameroonian authorities on whether and how they intended to comply with the Appeal Court decision. "It is our business to implement the order of the court," Moghalu said. "But we need an affirmation from them. We need them to say 'here are the arrangements, they are in place, bring him along'. "Moghalu said that this was likely to take a "little bit of time". On the question of whether Barayagwiza would be rearrested, he said that "other countries have concurrent jurisdiction with the Tribunal, so the Appeals Chamber decision doesn't mean that other countries can't go after him, if they have evidence". Rwanda on November 6th issued an international arrest warrant for Barayagwiza. JC/FH (BR§1119e)