At the beginning of the month, the Court of Appeal of Paris released Abbot Wenceslas Munyeshyaka and the former prefect of Gikongoro (western Rwanda), Laurent Bucyibaruta, who had been arrested and placed in detention in France at the request of the ICTR.
"The ball is in the court of the ICTR which had issued the arrest warrants. It is them who must see with the French authorities what can be done ", stated, Thursday, to the Hirondelle agency, the Rwandan Minister of Justice, Tharcisse Karugarama.
The Rwandan minister was questioned during a ministerial conference for the East African Community (EAC) which Rwanda is member.
"But for us, the ideal would have been that they be extradited to Rwanda. We have always asked France to extradite these two men; if Paris had accepted, they would have been tried a while ago, and these problems would not be at hand ", added Mr. Karugarama.
Paris having given its consent, in principle, to try the two accused, the ICTR had wished that they be maintained in detention until a chamber designated for this purpose by the president of this United Nations tribunal came to a conclusion about the transfer of their cases to France.
The ICTR, which must conclude its first instance trials by December 2008, is obligated to transfer certain cases to national courts.
By releasing Munyeshyaka and Bucyibaruta, the Court of Appeal of Paris had estimated that their arrest and their detention violated, in particular, the presumption of innocence principle.
Munyeshyaka and Bucyiburuta have been for few years under legal control in France. This measure remains in force.
"Why does the ICTR not ask that the two accused be transferred to its headquarters (in Arusha, Tanzania), while awaiting for the decision of the chamber designated to examine the transfer request?", suggested under the cover of anonymity, another Rwandan high official.
© Hirondelle News Agency