Arusha, 27 July 2007 (FH) - The former prefect of Cyangugu (south-western Rwanda), Emmanuel Bagambiki, acquitted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on 25 February 2004 arrived in Belgium Friday where he joined his family, indicated a reliable source.

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Emmanuel Bagambiki had requested for several months that he been allowed to unite with his family but his request was rejected by the Office of foreigners.

On 27 June, the Council of State had cancelled this decision by the Office of foreigners. Bagambiki was represented by Belgian lawyer, Vincent Lurquin, who had also defended him before the ICTR.

Arrested in Togo on 5 June 1998, Bagambiki had been on trial since 18 September 2000 and been accused of genocide and crimes against humanity.

The final acquittal was rendered on 8 February 2006. Rwanda had, nevertheless, issued a new arrest warrant against him.

Bagambiki lived in a "safe house" in Arusha in company of two other former Rwandan leaders also acquitted by the ICTR. The latter have not yet found a host country.

Bagambiki is the third person acquitted by the ICTR who has come to Europe; after the former mayors Ignace Bagilishema and Jean Mpambara, who live in France.

Since its creation in November 1994, the ICTR has already tried 33 people, of which five have been acquitted.

© Hirondelle News Agency