09.07.07 - ICTR/FRANCE - FRENCH ORGANIZATIONS REQUEST PARIS TO ARREST THREE ACCUSED

  Arusha, 9 July 2007 (FH) - Four French organizations are requesting Paris to immediately arrest three exiled Rwandans indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for their alleged role in the 1994 genocide in their country.   
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Last month, the ICTR Prosecutor, Gambian Hassan Bubacar Jallow, issued arrest warrants against the former prefect Laurent Bucyibaruta and Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, both exiled in France.
 
A few days earlier, he had announced the indictment of the former sub-prefect Dominique Ntawukuriryayo who, according to Kigali, also lives in France.
 
Following the agreement with France to try the first two, Jallow filed before the President of the ICTR motions aiming at obtaining court orders to transfer the two cases to French courts.
 
The ICTR President, Dennis Byron, should in the very next days designate chambers that will rule on these motions.
 
"More than two weeks after the issuance of the two arrest warrants, France still has not arrested Munyeshyaka and Bucyibaruta even if they are under judicial control", wrote, in an official statement, the International Federation for Humans Rights (FIDH), the Survie association, the League for Human Rights (LDH) and the Collective of the Civil Parties for Rwanda (CPCR).
 
The four associations "urgently request that France fulfill its international obligations of co-operation with the Office of the prosecutor of the ICTR by seeking and arresting Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, Laurent Bucyibaruta and Dominique Ntawukuriryayo".
 
"Our organizations remind that although France has a complete legislative arsenal enabling it to cooperate fully with the ICTR and to bring, if necessary, charges against any person allegedly responsible for serious crimes present on its territory", indicates the text. "It is to note that, in spite of several complaints filed by families of victims and associations, France had not considered until now any alleged genocidaire present on the French soil", these organizations deplored.
 
"The FIDH, the LDH, Survie  and the CPCR requests today that France, convicted by the European Court of Human rights for the slowness of its justice in the examination of the complaint against Munyeshyaka initiated since 1995, that justice be finally returned to the victims of the genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda", the official statement continues.
 
The Rwandan authorities, who accuse Paris of having played a part in the 1994 genocide, state that France does not have any moral authority to try these cases.
 
In a visit to the ICTR last month, Theodore Simburudali, president of Ibuka, the principal organization of survivors of the genocide, asked that the Office of the prosecutor withdraw the motions aiming at trying defendants in France.
 
ER/MM/AT 

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