Arusha, March 5, 2002 (FH) - Former Rwandan councillor of Mubuga in Kibuye province, Vincent Rutaganira was arrested in Tanzania and on Monday transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), United Nations Detention Facility. Rutaganira was arrested in Kigoma, western Tanzania over the weekend, by Tanzanian authorities at the request of the Tribunal.

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According to an ICTR press release, "a duty counsel has already been assigned by the Registrar to assist the accused in the preliminary stages of the procedure before the Tribunal". Rutaganira, 62, is alleged to have liased with others to kill Tutsis during the 1994 genocide. These include Ignace Bagilishema (former mayor of Mabanza), who was acquitted by the ICTR but whose case is in the ICTR Appeals Chamber, and Clement Kayishema and Obed Ruzindana who have already been convicted by the Tribunal. They allegedly conspired and participated in the killings of Tutsis in Kibuye province between April 9th and about June 30th, 1994. Rutaganira's indictment states he is charged with seven counts including genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity. The former councillor was born in Gishyita commune, Kibuye province. He is set to appear soon before the Tribunal to answer the charges against him. The ICTR was established at the end of 1994, to try suspects of the 1994 Rwanda genocide. Some one million people died in the genocide, according to an official Rwandan survey. So far, the ICTR has completed eight trials involving nine individuals. Out of these, six people were transferred last year to Mali to serve their sentences. There are seven trials in progress involving seventeen individuals, thirty are awaiting trial and four have yet to be transferred. SW/JA/FH (RT-0305e)