Arusha, 21 May 2008(FH)--Former Director General of the Rwandan Tea authority, Michel Bagaragaza, during the 1994 genocide was on Tuesday transferred back to Arusha from The Hague, The Netherlands, following revocation of an application by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Prosecutor for referral of the case, according to UN Court press statement yesterday.

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The revocation was made after the Dutch Prosecutor informed the Tribunal that their courts did not have any jurisdiction in trying such a case.

Bagaragaza, on 16 August 2005, surrendered to the Tribunal in Arusha and was charged with four counts of genocide and crimes against humanity.

On 18 August 2005, the accused was transferred to the Special UN Detention Facility (UNDF) of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) following a request by the ICTR Prosecutor to grant the transfer for security reasons.

This was followed by two attempts by the Prosecutor to transfer Bagaragaza's case to Norway and to The Netherlands, states the statement.

In the case of Norway, the Trial Chamber, relying on the submissions by the Norwegian Prosecutor, found that Oslo did not provide for the crime of genocide, which was alleged in the Indictment, and therefore denied the application.

When the Prosecution renewed its request for referral to The Netherlands, it was supported by a statement of the Dutch prosecutor that the Netherlands had jurisdiction to try the case. However, in a similar case involving another Rwandan, The Hague District Court afterwards stated that the Dutch Courts do not have any jurisdiction in trying such cases.

As a result, the Dutch Prosecutor informed the ICTR Prosecutor who then requested the revocation of the referral. On 17 August 2007, the referral order was revoked.


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