05.11.10 - ICTR/RWANDA - ICTR PROSECUTOR FILES NEW APPLICATIONS FOR TRANSFER OF CASES TO RWANDA

Arusha, November 5, 2010 (FH) -The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Hassan Bubacar Jallow, has filed new applications for referral of cases of three genocide-suspects to Rwanda for trial.
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"Justice Hassan Jallow announced today (Thursday) that he has filed three new applications for the referral of the cases of three accused persons to Rwanda for trial," states a press release made available to Hirondelle News Agency on Friday.

The cases involve detainee Rwandan Pentecostal Church Pastor Jean-Bosco Uwinkindi and two fugitives, including former judicial police inspector of Kivumu commune in Kibuye prefecture (Western Rwanda), Fulgence Kayishema and ex-mayor of Gishyita commune in the same prefecture, Charles Sikubwabo.  

According to the Rules of the Tribunal, such applications are filed before the president, who in turn will, for each motion, appoint a bench for determination upon hearing arguments from both the prosecution and defence for the accused concerned.

Each side has the right to file an appeal to challenge before the Appeals Chamber the decision by the lower chamber.

This is the second time Prosecutor Jallow files such applications for referral of cases to Rwanda for trial. In 2007, he filed similar motions of cases involving four detainees and one fugitive. All the requests failed because Trial Chambers were not persuaded that the accused would receive fair trial.

The prosecutor said in the statement, however, that Rwanda has since taken steps to amend its laws and bring them in conformity with what the Trial Chambers would expect to meet international standard of fairness.   

Furthermore, he said, the country has also put measures in place to ensure the access of defence witnesses to Rwanda without hindrance, including video link facilities to take evidence of witnesses who could not travel to Rwanda to testify as well as ability of Rwandan Judges to take evidence of witnesses on commission outside Rwanda.

This assurance was made last month by the Rwanda Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga at a press conference in Arusha, after talks with Mr Jallow.

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© Hirondelle News Agency