10.04.08 - ICTR/FRANCE - FRENCH COURT TO DECIDE ON NTAWUKURIRYAYO'S APPEAL NEXT MONTH

Paris, 10 April 2008 (FH) - The Final Court of Appeal in France will rule on 7 May on the appeal filed by Dominique Ntawukuriryayo, a former Rwandan sub-prefect, against the decision of the Court of Appeal of Paris to authorize his transfer to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to stand trial over alleged involvement in the 1994 genocide.
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The representative for the prosecution has asked the court to reject the appeal, reports Hirondelle Agency.

On 27 February, the Court of Appeal of Paris ruled, for a second time, in favour of the transfer of Mr Ntawukuriryayo to the Arusha-UN Court. The first transfer ruling, ordered by the Court of Appeal, had been quashed on 16 January by the Final Court of Appeal due to a legal error.

The accused's lawyer , Claire Waquet, reminded Wednesday that the ICTR was a "court limited by time", as all first instance cases must be tried before the end of 2008.

He also drew attention to the fact that the inquiry against the Rwandan national was opened on 13 February by the prosecution of Paris.

Within the framework of its completion strategy, the ICTR was trying to transfer its last defendants to national courts.

Thus, it relinquished its jurisdiction to the benefit of France to try Wenceslas Munyeshyaka and the former prefect Laurent Bucyibaruta, both suspected of having taken part in the 1994 genocide. The two men are under investigation in France in separate cases for genocide and crimes against humanity.

AP/PB/MM/SC

© Hirondelle News Agency