On 7 September, the prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow requested the transfer to Rwandan courts of Lieutenant Ildephonse Hategikimana and the businessmen Gaspard Kanyarukiga and Yussuf Munyakazi; a step done in respect with the end of the ICTR mandate in December 2008.
The ICTR President, Dennis Byron, has just designated the Judges who will examine this motion to which defence is henceforth opposed.
In a common letter addressed to the president of the Association of Defence Counsels (ADAD) at the ICTR, the lawyers of the three prisoners are asking the other lawyers to have support their fight to oppose these transfers.
"You imagine, without any doubt, the strongly random character and deeply prejudicial to the most basic rights of our respective clients in regards to the real motivations of the prosecutor, motivations which harm the values which are the basis of our goal as lawyer as well as international justice", wrote the defenders.
Hategekimana is defended by the Togolese Ahlonko Robert Dovi, Kanyarukiga by the Congolese Ernest Bahati Midagu and Munyakazi by the Tanzanian Jwani Thimothy Mwaikusa.
The three lawyers stated that the transfer request to Rwanda constitutes "a truly warped plot by Kigali with the obvious collaboration of the prosecution".
In justifying his motion, Prosecutor Jallow had indicated that Rwandan courts were ready to try the three prisoners according to international standards'.
"Between the declarations of intent or even the existence of texts of circumstance and the effectiveness of their healthy and rigorous application in Rwanda, there is a pit which one can only fill by realizing the evil and a real political will to stop it, or better, to destroy it, which is by no means the case in the current state of things in Rwanda", the lawyers replied. For them, "the fairness and impartiality of the Rwandan courts remain petty words".
In this ordeal, one of the prisoners in question, Ildephonse Hategikimana, has just sent a letter to the ICTR president to inform him of the danger that he faces, as a former officer, in the event of a transfer. "In any event, any possible transfer to Rwanda would constitute, more or less, a significant transfer of a combatant to those which were victorious over him, hand over by an international tribunal that is supposed to be neutral in the conflict, that is suppose to be the protector of human rights, regulator of legal standards", points out Hategekimana.
© Hirondelle News Agency