Arusha, 20 March 2008(FH) - The Spokesman of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Mr Roland Amoussouga has said that the UN court was engaged in frantic diplomatic efforts to seek host countries for acquitted persons, although he added it was still a daunting task.

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He said that Registry was working hard to secure hosts for two former ministers, who have been acquitted but are still stuck in Arusha, the headquarters of the tribunal. The two are: Andre Ntagerura, former minister for transport who was acquitted in 2004 and Andre Rwamakuba, former minister for education, who was set free in 2006. They both were ministers in the interim government during the 1994 genocide.

"We shall refer to the UN Security Council all unfinished work and decided on by the UN body," he told Hirondelle Agency in an exclusive interview.

Asked to comment on the trial of Callixte Kalimanzira, former director of the cabinet in the ministry of interior, the ICTR spokesman said the case "is likely to start towards end of next month''. The trial of Ephrem Sekato, former Lt. Col in Rwanda Armed Forces (FAR), will probably begin in August, added Mr Amoussouga.

A total of seven accused persons are waiting for their trials to start. The prosecutor has requested that four of the accused's trials be transferred to Rwandan courts but the chambers have yet to make a decision.

Former Minister for Youth, Callixte Nzabonimana was arrested last week and the prosecutor has insisted that the case will be tried by ICTR. The trial's date was yet to be fixed.

The ICTR is still waiting for the transfers of ex-minister for planning, Augustin Ngirabatware and former Deputy Governor Dominique Ntawukuriryayo, who were arrested last year in Germany and France respectively.

The UN court was also expecting soon the return of the former tea boss, Michel Bagaragaza, whose transfer to the Netherlands has been reversed.

Since its establishment in 1994, the tribunal has so far sentenced 30 persons and acquitted five.


©Hirondelle News Agency