ICTR/ITALY - GENOCIDE CONVICT RUGGIU WILL SERVE HIS SETENCE IN ITALY
Arusha, 15 February 2008 (FH) - George Ruggiu, an Italian-Belgian journalist, sentenced to 12 years in prison by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for his role in the 1994 genocide, will serve
the remainder of his sentence in Italy, reports Hirondelle Agency.
On 1 June 2000, Ruggiu, who had pleaded guilty, was convicted of direct and public incitement to commit genocide.
The only non-Rwandan accused by the ICTR, he was convicted for his anti-Tutsi messages on Radio-television Libre Des Mille Collines (RTLM).
Since then, he has been at the ICTR detention center in Arusha, Tanzania, while waiting for the designation of the country to serve his sentence, which culminates in July next year. He has been in detention since 23 July 1997.
In an order issued Wednesday by the president of the ICTR, Judge Dennis Byron, decided that Ruggiu will serve his sentence in Italy in accordance with that country's law but under the supervision of the tribunal.
Ruggiu was born 12 October 1957 in Belgium, but holds Italian citizenship.
On 17 March 2004, the Italian government signed an agreement with the United Nations to allow the ICTR convicts serve their sentences in Italian prisons.
The ICTR has similar agreement with five other countries-- Mali, Benin, Swaziland, France and Sweden.
Since December 2001, Mali is hosting six convicts, including the former Prime Minister Jean Kambanda.
© Hirondelle News Agency