PARIS, 1 November 2007 (FH) - The appellate court of Paris kept in custody Wednesday former Rwandan sub-prefect Dominique Ntawukuriryayo, who is waiting for a decision on his eventual transfer to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), accused of having participated in the 1994 genocide.

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He was arrested on 16 October under an ICTR arrest order dating from September 2006. The investigative chamber of the appellate court of Paris considered Mr. Ntawukuriryayo an international flight risk, as he does not benefit from any guarantee of sufficient representation in France, according to the representative of the public prosecutor. The argument was refuted in advance by one of Mr. Ntawukuriryayo's lawyers, Mr. François Roux, stating that the question of "flight risk (was) totally ruled out," France being his "asylum."

At the time of the audience, defence put in doubt the desire of the ICTR to expediently judge Mr. Ntawukuriryayo, its mandate finishing in 2008, and brought to mind the eventuality that he would be transferred to Rwanda. The ICTR "demands arrests of certain people but doesn't want to judge them," explained Mr. Roux.

The former sub-prefect, who arrived in France in 1999 on a residence permit, has resided in Carcassonne since 2000, from where he has "never moved, until his arrest," he said.
Next Wednesday, the investigative chamber will examine the ICTR's request for transfer of Mr. Ntawukuriryayo, born in 1942. According to the international indictment, he is alleged to have participated, directly and indirectly, in the deaths of 25,000 people between 21 and 25 April 1994.

Tuesday, 27 Rwandan citizens and the Civil Suit Collective for Rwanda (CSCR) lodged a complaint in Paris against Mr. Ntawukuriryayo, declared Mr. Alain Gauthier, the group's president. In April 2006, 32 plaintiffs lodged a complaint against him in Carcassonne. Then nothing came of it, as police could not find him.

© Hirondelle News Agency