Arusha, 5 June 2009 (FH) - Kigali reiterated Thursday before the United Nations Security Council its request to try cases of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

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The ICTR judges has already rejected five motions of the UN Prosecutor, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, of transferring cases to Rwandan justice on grounds that the suspects may not get a fair trial.

"The decisions taken by the trial and appeals chamber (of the ICTR) have severely undermined my government's ability to pursue and bring to justice those suspected of genocide all over the world", stated Rwanda's Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga.

The ICTR judges had expressed concerns for the safety of the defence witnesses in the event of transfers of accused to Rwanda.

Ngoga ensured the Security Council that his country had just carried out the necessary legal amendments and set up at the Supreme Court a protection service for witnesses.

During a press conference after the session, the ICTR prosecutor joined his voice to that of the Rwandan magistrate.

"It is very important that we do succeed on the transfer of cases to Rwanda", said Jallow, stressing that it would make it possible to reduce the task of the Tribunal, which must finish this year the trials in first instance.

In a meeting with the Hirondelle Agency last month, Mr. Ngoga had drawn the attention to "the negative impact" of the ICTR refusal to transfer cases to Rwandan justice.

Certain Western countries have based themselves on the decisions of this United Nations Tribunal to refuse to extradite to Rwanda persons accused of genocides residing on their territory.


© Hirondelle News Agency