11.09.07 - ICTR/FRANCE - TWO ICTR ACCUSED APPEAR IN FRANCE IN REGARDS TO THEIR TRANSFER

Paris, 11 September 2007 (FH) - Two Rwandans, accused of participating in the 1994 genocide and exiled in France where they were arrested last week, will appear Wednesday before the Court of Appeal of Paris which will decide their transfer to Arusha, where the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is located.
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Abbot Wenceslas Munyeshyeka and Prefect Laurent Bucyibaruta were notified Monday by the Stare Counsel's Office of Paris the terms of their charges by the ICTR. This indictment, which goes back to 2005, remained secret until last June. They are accused of genocide, rapes, assassinations and extermination.

The two men were already the subject of legal proceedings in France for these same events. They had already been arrested once in July but the Court of Appeal of Paris, judging that they presented all the guarantees of appearance, had released them on 1 August asserting the inaccuracy of the arrest warrant.

The ICTR issued a second arrest, more precise, warrant in mid-August in which it again asks the transfer of the accused to Arusha. The two men filed motions for their release which will be examined on 19 September. If they are transferred to Arusha they could be sent back to France to be tried within the framework of transfers of accused in accordance with the completion strategy of the tribunal.

It, which has already tried 33 persons, had been asked to finish its first instance trials by 31 December 2008. It is on the point of transferring to other countries, considered ready for these kinds of trials, its last defendants. The prosecutor has already asked for the transfer of a wanted defendant and has just requested the transfer to Rwanda of three accused held in Arusha.

Within the framework of this completion strategy, France has already agreed to try these two accused who are on its territory; but the decision of their transfers must be rendered by a chamber of the ICTR. Rwanda, after having expressed reserves on these possible judgments, does not seem to be opposed to them any more.

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