Arusha, 17 December, 2008 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Tuesday rejected the fifth application of its own prosecutor to transfer genocide cases to Rwanda for trial in the national jurisdictions.

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In their decision, the three-bench judges led by Justice Ines Weinberg de Roca, denied the prosecutor's request for referral to Rwanda in the case Fulgence Kayishema, former police inspector, still on the run.

The judges singled out two major reasons as driving force towards the decision which included risk to get solitary confinement if the accused is convicted to life imprisonment, and that the defendant may lack trial right to obtain the attendance and or examine defence witnesses under the same conditions as witnesses called by the prosecution.

Other applications already rejected on almost similar grounds were former businessmen- Gaspard Kanyarukiga and Yusuf Munyakazi, Lieutenant Ildenphonse Hategekimana and former mayor, Jean-Baptiste Gatete.

Speaking to reporters at the Tribunal's seat in Arusha, Tanzania recently the Rwandan Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga retaliated his country's commitment to remove what he called two major remaining stumbling blocks: protection of witnesses and solitary confinement which he said were being dealt with effectively.

He insisted that the issue of protection of witnesses, now under his office, would be transferred to the judiciary and that the law on solitary confinement was in its final stages of amendments and would be ready "very soon."


© Hirondelle News Agency