Arusha, July 12, 2001 (FH) - A former finance minister, a catholic military chaplain and a musician were on Thursday arrested in three European countries on arrest warrants from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), official sources confirmed. All three face genocide charges.

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Former minister Emmanuel Ndindagahizi was arrested in Belgium, according to ICTR spokesman Kingsley Moghalu. Ndindagahizi was Minister of Finance in the Rwandan interim government in place during the 1994 genocide. Charges against him include genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination and murder as crimes against humanity. Musician Simon Bikindi was arrested in the Netherlands. Bikindi was a well-known composer and singer whose songs were used during the war and genocide, notably on "hate radio" Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM). He is charged with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide or alternatively complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, murder and persecution as crimes against humanity. Emmanuel Rukundo was arrested in Switzerland. At the time of the genocide in Rwanda, he was a military chaplain in Ruhengeri prefecture, northwest Rwanda and then transferred to the capital Kigali. He is charged with genocide or, alternatively, complicity in genocide; murder and extermination as crimes against humanity. ICTR spokesman Moghalu said these arrests were "very important developments" in the work of the Tribunal and "another sign of the effective cooperation that we are receiving from states". He said he hoped the three would be transferred to the UN prison in Arusha as soon as possible. Moghalu also said the arrests showed that the ICTR had a "thematic and geographic strategy" to its indictments. It has arrested alleged planners, financiers and supporters of the genocide, he said, "and now we have added a musician". Rukundo is also the first catholic cleric to be arrested by the Tribunal. It has already in its custody a Seventh Day Adventist Pastor, due to go on trial shortly, and an Anglican bishop. Moghalu could not say whether any of the accused arrested Thursday might be joined to other accused for trial. JC/MBR/FH (AR0712e)