16.04.08 - ICTR/CANADA - CHAMBER TO HEAR ACQUITTED MINISTER'S MOTION FOR RELOCATION TO CANADA

Arusha, 16 April 2008 (FH) - The President of International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Justice Dennis Byron, has granted an application to hear a motion of genocide acquitted former Rwandan Transport and Communications minister, Andre Ntagerura, who seeks relocation to Canada.

 

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The former minister had asked the ICTR last November to order Canada to grant him asylum, stressing that it had systematically ignored the request for more than three years made by the tribunal's administration.

The decision was posted Wednesday on the tribunal's official website. The date for hearing has yet to be fixed.

Ntagerura had also requested the ICTR president to refer to the Security Council the Canadian authorities refusal to co-operate on the matter [relocation], but the argument was rejected.

The former minister was acquitted by the first instance trial on 25 February 2005 and it was confirmed in appeal on 8 February 2006.

Ntagerura was acquitted alongside the former governor of Cyangugu, Emmanuel Bagambiki.

Bagambiki has already joined his family in Belgium since July 2007.

The two other acquitted persons -- former Mayors Ignace Bagilishema and Jean Mpambara-live in France.

Another acquitted person in another case, the former Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Andre Rwamakuba has also yet to find a host country for the past two and half years.

The Spokesman of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Mr Roland Amoussouga said last month 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.

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

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©Hirondelle News Agency