Arusha, 11 August 2009 (FH) - Lieutenant Samuel Imanishimwe, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison in July 2006 by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), was released from prison on Saturday after having served his sentence, reports Hirondelle Agency.

0 min 55Approximate reading time

Imanishimwe, who was detained in Mali, reportedly does not want to return to his native Rwanda. He is the fourth convicted person to have been set free after serving the mandatory sentences.

An ICTR source could not state if Imanishimwe had already found a host country.

Arrested in Mombasa, Kenya, on 11 August 1997, Lieutenant Imanishimwe, who commanded a small military camp in south-western Rwanda in 1994, was convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The only non-Rwandan convicted of genocide Italian-Belgian, Georges Ruggiu, who was transferred to an Italian prison in February 2008, was released in breach of the ICTR Statute in April, this year. The ICTR authorities were not aware of the release.

The Statute stipulates that only the president of the Tribunal was qualified to grant a pardon or commute a sentence regardless of the place of imprisonment of the prisoner.  

The first prisoner to have finished serving his sentence, Adventist Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, died of natural causes on 22 January 2007, less than a month after having been released.  

The second, the former city councilman, Vincent Rutaganira, was released in March 2008. The third was the former communal agent, Joseph Nzabirinda, who was released in December 2008.


© Hirondelle News Agency