Arusha, March 31, 2000(FH) - The Appeal Court of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has reversed its decision to free genocide suspect Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza. It agreed to revise its decision of November 3rd which ordered Barayagwiza's immediate release on the grounds that his rights had been repeatedly violated during his initial detention in Cameroon and after his transfer to the ICTR prison in Arusha, Tanzania.

1 min 9Approximate reading time

That decision caused the Rwandan government to suspend its cooperation with the ICTR. Cooperation was nevertheless resumed in February, after the ICTR Prosecutor had applied for a review of the Appeal Court decision, on tha basis that she had new facts. In its revised decision, the Court still found that there were failures on the part of the Prosecutor and that the accused's rights had been violated, but on a considerably smaller scale than it had deemed in the November 3rd decision. It said Barayagwiza should be tried by the ICTR, but that the violation of his rights would be taken into account at the time of his judgement by the Trial Chamber. The judges said that if the Court found the accused innocent, he would be entitled to financial compensation for the violations. If the court were to find him guilty, they should be taken into account in the determination of his sentence. Barayagwiza was arrested in March 1996. According to the November decision, he was held for 19 months in Cameroon without being informed of the charges against him. Provisional detention is not supposed to exceed 90 days. Barayagwiza was a founder member of the hate radio Radio Télévision des Mille Collines, which incited Hutus to kill Tutsis, and of the hardline Hutu party CDR. He was also foreign policy advisor to the Rwandan interim government which presided over the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. JC/AT/FH (BR%0331e)