Paris, 13 September 2007 (FH) - The Court of Appeal of Paris yesterday postponed until Wednesday 19 September the ruling on the transfer requests to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) of Abbot Wenceslas Munyeshyaka and former Prefect Laurent Bucyibaruta, arrested last week in France for the second time in less than two months.

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On Wednesday, the investigative chamber of the Court of Appeal of Paris, presided by Edith Boizette, was satisfied to proceed to the identity hearing of the two men and notified them of the arrest warrant issued on 13 August by the ICTR.

At the end of July, the two men had already been the subject of an arrest in France, where they have resided for many years, at the request of the ICTR which wanted them to be maintained in detention while awaiting a decision from the judges of the international tribunal on a transfer of their cases to France, which has agreed to try them. On 1 August, the investigative chamber of the Court of Appeal of Paris had ordered their release.

"You had come in July, here you are again in September", declared the president of the court to Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka. "I am innocent, all these charges are pure lies", he declared.
He was arrested on 5 September in his parish of Gisors (Eure) while Laurent Bucyibaruta, former prefect of Gikongoro (southern Rwanda), was arrested near Troyes (Aube) where he resides.
His lawyer, Philippe Greciano, qualified this new arrest warrant as a "make-up session". "The question is to know if the new copy is not out of context", he ironized. His client restricted himself to note that there was "a disproportionate of eagerness" against him. "As if I constituted a danger, a risk, an obstacle to the interests of certain individuals, undoubtedly powerful".

In France, the two men were put under investigation following complaints from Rwandan genocide survivors. Wenceslas was put under investigation in 1995 and Bucyibaruta in 2000 for crimes related to the genocide. Both were placed under judicial supervision, which has been respected up to now, after being placed on remand.

A catholic priest, Wenceslas Munyeshyaka has been since 2001 the priest of the parishes of Gisors and the Epte Valley. Laurent Bucyibaruta, former prefect of Gikongoro (southern Rwanda), resides in Aube.

© Hirondelle News Agency