Arusha, February 16, 2000 (FH) - Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) say they want a joint trial for three of the suspects recently arrested in Europe, the independent news agency Hirondelle reported on Wednesday. This follows the arrests in France and Denmark on Tuesday of two former Rwandan military officers, and the arrest in Belgium on January 28th of former gendarmerie (military police) boss Augustin Ndindiliyimana.

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All three are charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, and all three were arrested at the request of the ICTR. On Tuesday, Major François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye was arrested in the southwestern French town of Montauban. He was commander of the Rwandan army's reconnaissance battalion, an elite unit accused of perpetrating atrocities during the genocide. These include massacres at Kigali hospital. On the same day, Danish police arrested Nzuwonemeye's former second-in-command, Innocent Sagahutu. According to the ICTR prosecution, Sagahutu is said to have given the order for ten Belgian UN peacekeepers to be taken to Kigali barracks where they were subsequently murdered on April 7th, 1994. ICTR Chief of Prosecutions Mohamed Othman told Hirondelle that Ndindiliyimana, Nzuwonemeye and Sagahutu figured on the same indictment, "along with others that we are still looking for. " The ICTR is hoping that the suspects can be transferred to its prison in Arusha as soon as national extradition procedures have been completed. JC/FH (AR%0216e).