Arusha, May 20, 2001 (FH) - An investigator for a defence team at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) identifying himself as a Congolese was arrested Saturday on genocide charges. This is the first time the UN Tribunal has arrested someone on its own payroll.

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Tribunal sources told Hirondelle news agency that ICTR investigators had identified the man as Simeon Nshamihigo, who was prosecutor for the southern Rwandan region of Cyangugu at the time of the 1994 genocide. The sources said he had been using the name Weza Sami Bahati. He had been working for the defence team of former Cyangugu military commander Samuel Imanishimwe, currently on trial before the ICTR. Nshamihigo was arrested at the ICTR headquarters in Arusha by Tanzanian police, in collaboration with an ICTR genocide suspect tracking team. Tribunal sources said he is currently detained by the Tanzanian police, pending his formal handover to the ICTR. The process is expected to take about two days. The name Simeon Nshamihigo also appears on the Rwandan government's Category One list of most wanted genocide suspects. The list is composed of about 2,800 names. The arrest comes after the Rwandan government in March complained that some investigators working for defence teams at the ICTR were genocide fugitives. Two other investigators currently working for Tribunal defence teams appear on Rwanda's Category One list of genocide suspects. The ICTR maintains that it does screen defence investigators, who are hired under contract by defence lawyers. It says security screening considers but does not depend on the Rwandan government's Category One list. Defence counsels at the ICTR recruit their investigators but require approval from the Tribunal. As all detainees currently have indigent status, the ICTR Registry is responsible for paying fees of defence teams. GG/JC/PHD/FH (AR0520E)