Arusha, 8 November 2007 (FH) - The former Minister of Transport, André Ntagerura, acquitted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), asked the president of the tribunal to order Canada to grant him asylum, it was learned from a legal source Thursday. 

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In a motion dated 23 October, and that the Hirondelle Agency received Thursday, Ntagerura's lawyer, Philippe Larochelle, states that: "Ntegerura is respectfully requesting the President of the Tribunal to issue an order to Canada , directing the country to grant the asylum application made by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on behalf of André Ntagerura".
Larochelle has stressed that "for more than three years, repeated asylum requests have been made to Canada", either by the administration of the ICTR or by Ntagerura's lawyers.
"To date, Canada has systematically ignored these requests", deplores the lawyer who finally asks the ICTR president to seize the Security Council of the refusal of co-operation of the Canadian authorities.
Delivered in first instance on 25 February 2005, the acquittal of the former minister was confirmed in appeal on 8 February 2006.
He was tried alongside two other persons, including the former prefect of Cyangugu (southern Rwanda), Emmanuel Bagambiki, also acquitted and who was welcomed by Belgium in July.
Ntagerura shares his "safe house" at the ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania, with the former Minister of National Education, André Rwamakuba, acquitted on 20 September 2006, and whose most heart held dream is to join his family in Switzerland.

In an interview with the Hirondelle Agency, in March, the ICTR registrar, the Senegalese Adama Dieng, stated clearly that "the problem is likely to be recurring insofar as acquitted persons do not want to go back to Rwanda".
Dieng considered it regrettable that Western countries "close a bit their doors" and reminded them that "this tribunal was created by the Security Council" and that "it is the international community which must assume the consequences of the judgments that it delivers".
The two others that have been acquitted by the ICTR, the former mayors Ignace Bagilishema and Jean Mpambara, were welcomed by France.


© Hirondelle News Agency