Arusha, June 8, 2001 (FH) The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Friday ordered the immediate release of former Rwandan mayor Ignace Bagilishema who has been acquitted of all charges against him. On Thursday, the ICTR declared Bagilishema not guilty of genocide and other charges, but ordered that he stay in detention pending a decision on a motion from the Prosecutor.

1 min 1Approximate reading time

The prosecution had said it was appealing the judgement, and requested a new detention order for Bagilishema on thegrounds that he could escape and could put pressure on witnesses. On Friday, the court said that Bagilishema should be released, but must provide the names of two people of good repute to guarantee his attendance at appeals hearings. The court also required that Bagilishema give the Tribunal the address where he will be residing, and report regularly to thepolice there. The court ordered that Bagilishema should not travel outside his chosen country of residence without written permission from the Tribunal. His travel documents are to be held by local police, unless the Tribunal directs otherwise. Bagilishema's French lawyer François Roux told the court on Thursday that his client wished to reside in a European country. The name of the country has not bee disclosed for security reasons. Arrangements for Bagilishema's release were expected to take several days. Bagilishema was mayor of Mabanza in Kibuye prefecture, western Rwanda, during the 1994 genocide. He had been charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. However, the court found that the prosecution had not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt on any of the seven counts against him. AT/JC/FH (BS0608e)