Arusha, April 30, 2001 (FH) - The lawyer for former Rwandan bishop Samuel Musabyimana claims that his client's arrest in Kenya and transfer to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) were illegal. Following his complaint, the Nairobi High Court has given the Kenyan government until Monday, April 30th, to either produce the Bishop or explain his whereabouts.

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Musabyimana was Anglican Bishop of the Shyogwe diocese in Gitarama prefecture, central Rwanda, during the 1994 genocide. He was arrested in Nairobi last Thursday on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, and transferred the same day to the ICTR detention facility in Arusha, Tanzania. But Musabyimana's Kenyan lawyer Ojwang Agina says that police who arrested his client failed to produce any identification, any arrest warrant or transfer order. ICTR spokesman Kingsley Moghalu said that the arrest had been carried out within the framework of ICTR rules for arrest and transfer, although he could not comment on Kenyan law. A tribunal press release said Kenyan police made the arrest on the basis of an ICTR arrest warrant issued on March 13, 2001. Tribunal Registrar Adama Dieng of Senegal thanked the Kenyan authorities for their co-operation with the ICTR. "I thank the Kenyan authorities for their co-operation and for the efficient execution of the arrest warrant," the press release quoted him as saying in Nairobi. "This bodes well for the work of the Rwanda Tribunal". Musabyimana faces four charges of genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity for his role in massacres of Tutsis taking refuge in his diocese during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The indictment says he ordered the refugees to be registered according to their ethnic group, and that these registration lists were used by Interahamwe militia who massacred Tutsis. The indictment also alleges that Musabyimana held meetings with the Rwandan interim government in place during the genocide, and that he carried out missions abroad on behalf of that government. The ex-Bishop is the second churchman to be arrested by the ICTR after Seventh Day Adventist Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, who headed the Mugonero church in Kibuye prefecture, western Rwanda. SW/JC/FH (MS0430e)