Arusha, June 29, 2010 (FH) - Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has rejected the request by genocide-accused and former Rwandan minister of Public Service Prosper Mugiraneza, seeking dismissal of his indictment for ‘'violation of right to trial without undue delay.''

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"Mugiraneza has failed to show that he has been denied his right to a fair trial without undue delay," the chamber said in its ruling posted on the Tribunal's website.

Mugiraneza is jointly charged with three other former Rwandan ministers in a case known as ‘'Government II''. They are Casimir Bizimungu (Health), Jérome Bicamumpaka (Foreign Affairs) and Justin Mugenzi (Trade).

The defendant had already filed three such motions before the Tribunal without any success.

According to the motion, the accused wanted the Chamber to give greatest weight to the length of the delay, pointing out that he had been under detention for 4,018 days.    

The Chamber, however, recalled Appeals Chamber's ruling that in order to determine whether there has been undue delay it was necessary to conduct full inquiry by taking into account all important factors.

They include complexity of proceedings before an ad hoc international Tribunal, conduct of parties and authorities and even the number of the accused involved in a trial, factors which the ruling stated were not taken into consideration by the applicant.

"The Chamber is now at the stage of deliberating and considering judgment," indicated the ruling while insisting that there has not been undue delay in this case.

The ruling was endorsed by two members of the bench; Judges Khalida Khan (Presiding) and Lee Muthoga whereas Judge Frances Short gave a dissenting opinion on the matter.

Prosper Mugiraneza was arrested in Cameroon on April 6, 1999 and transferred to the ICTR detention facility in Arusha in July 1999.


© Hirondelle News Agency