Arusha, January 18, 2011 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has deferred the proceedings in relation to two applications for referral of cases to Rwanda for trial involving fugitives  Fulgence Kayishema and Charles Sikubwabo, pending their arrest or determination of a similar application of genocide detainee, Jean Uwinkindi.

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"The Chamber decides that the proceedings in relation to the Prosecution's motion for the referral of Fulgence Kayishema (and) Charles Sikubwabo's case to the authorities of the Republic of Rwanda, including the appointment of counsel for the Accused, shall be deferred until the Accused (are) arrested or until a final decision has been made in relation to the request in Uwinkindi case, whatever comes first," a Trial Chamber ruled.

Prosecutor Hassan Jallow filed the three applications for referral of the cases against Kayishema, former judicial police inspector of Kivumu commune in Kibuye prefecture (Western Rwanda), Charles Sikubwabo, ex-mayor of Gishyita commune in the same prefecture and Uwinkindi, Rwandan Pentecostal Church Pastor, on November 4, 2010.

The Chamber recalled that Kayishema and Sikubwabo were still at large and, therefore, the matter pending was not in particular urgent as long as the accused have not been arrested.

It considered further that information that would be gathered in relation to referral request concerning Uwinkindi and the outcome of that case, in particular in the event of an appeal, was likely to impact on the issues that would be raised in relation to the referral requests concerning the two fugitives.

The first five similar applications made in 2007 were rejected because the Chambers were of the view that the accused would not receive fair trials in Rwanda as a result of the laws in existence in the country at that time.

Uwinkindi, currently detained at the UN Detention Facility in Arusha, was arrested on June 30, 2010 in Uganda as he was coming into the country from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide and extermination, as a crime against humanity, in his further appearance on December 1, 2010.


© Hirondelle News Agency