Arusha, 11 March 2009 (FH) - Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has denied a request of the ailing former Rwandan President of the MRND ruling party in 1994, Mathieu Ngirumpatse who wished to be treated in Europe, Hirondelle News Agency leant on Wednesday.

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Prosecuted for genocide and crimes against humanity, Ngirumpatse whose health conditions deteriorated since August last year asked to be transferred from Nairobi where he has been receiving medical care to the detention centre of the International War Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for better treatment.       

In his decision, which Hirondelle Agency obtained a copy on Wednesday, Judge Byron, President of  ICTR and Trial Chamber III admits that medical reasons can justify the transfer of an ICTR detainee ; but notes that the motion of the former president of the MRND does not specify if the ICTY or the Dutch government in the Hague is ready to accommodate him.

The decision of the ICTR President was also based on the opinion of the medical department of the Tribunal, which stated that the patient is currently receiving the best possible care.

Following his prolonged hospitalization, which paralyzed for several months the trial in which he was tried along with two other former heads of the party, the Chamber ordered on March 3, 2009 severance of the joint trial.   

According to decision, the trial of the former vice-president, Edouard Karemera and secretary-general of the MRND, Joseph Nzirorera will continue on March 23.

The trial of these three politicians began on September 19, 2005. The prosecutor rested his case on December 4, 2007. On April 7, Karemera became the first defendant to present his case.

The first trial in which the three leaders were prosecuted alongside the former minister of education, André Rwamakuba, who was from another party, was cancelled in September 2004, because of "the appearance of partiality" from one of the judges.

Prosecutor tried Rwamakuba alone and was acquitted in September 2006. He has been living in Switzerland since last year.


© Hirondelle News Agency