Arusha, 12 June 2007 (FH) - The Chief-Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Hassan Bubacar Jallow, filed Monday the first request aiming at transferring before a Rwandan court a defendant from the international jurisdiction, it was learned on Tuesday from an official source.

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Kayishema was born in 1961 in Kivumu commune, Kibuye Prefecture of Rwanda. During 1994, he was the inspector of police in the same commune.

Kayishema is among the 18 fugitives indicted by the ICTR who are still at large. The indictment that was confirmed on 3 July 2001, charges Kayishema with genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity.

He allegedly conspired with Father Athanase Seromba and others to prepare and carry out a plan to exterminate the Tutsi population in Kivumu commune and elsewhere in the Kibuye.

It is alleged that in implementing their plan, thousands of Tutsis, including those that had sought refuge at Nyange Parish, were exterminated.

The Government of Rwanda has expressed its willingness and readiness to accept and prosecute the Accused, with assurances that he will receive a fair trial, that in the event of conviction, the death penalty will not be applied.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights has accepted the responsibility to monitor the trial on behalf of the Prosecutor.

The Prosecutor asked the Trial Chamber to issue a new warrant of arrest requiring states to cooperate in arresting Kayishema and transferring him to Rwandan authorities.

The transfers of some accused before national jurisdictions, including that of Rwanda, forms part of the completion strategy of the ICTR; which must finish its first instance trials by the end of 2008.

Excluding the 18 accused at large, of which Kayishema, 8 other accused, arrested and held by the ICTR, await the opening of their trials.

Until now, only one defendant of the ICTR has been transferred to a national jurisdiction; the former owner of the tea sector in Rwanda, Michel Bagaragaza, his case was transferred to the Netherlands.

© Hirondelle News Agency