On January 17, judges Vagn Joensen, Gberdao Gustave Kam and Mparany Rajohnson had decided to defer the proceedings regarding two applications for referral of cases to Rwanda. They involved the trial of fugitives Fulgence Kayishema and Charles Sikubwabo, pending their arrest, and the determination of the case of genocide detainee Jean Uwinkindi.
"The Chamber decides that the proceedings in relation to the Prosecution's motion for the referral of Fulgence Kayishema's and Charles Sikubwabo's cases to the authorities of the Republic of Rwanda, including the appointment of counsels for the Accused, shall be deferred until the accused are arrested or until a final decision is made regarding the request in Uwinkindi case, whatever comes first," the Trial Chamber ruled.
On November 4, 2010, Prosecutor Hassan Jallow had filed three applications for referral of the cases against Fulgence Kayishema, a former inspector of the judicial police in Kivumu commune (Kibuye prefecture, Western Rwanda), Charles Sikubwabo, the ex-mayor of Gishyita commune in the same prefecture, and against Jean Uwinkindi, a Pentecostal Church pastor.
The Chamber recalled that Kayishema and Sikubwabo were still at large and, therefore, considered that the matter pending was not of particular urgency.
It further considered that information that would be gathered regarding the referral request for 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 with regard to the referral requests concerning the two fugitives.
On January 24, Prosecutor Hassan Jallow urged the Chamber to reconsider its decision or to allow him to appeal the ruling.
The Chamber fully rejected the request on grounds that there was nothing to support it.
The first five similar applications made in 2007 were equally rejected because the Chambers held to the view that the accused would not receive fair trials in Rwanda as a result of existing legislation in the country at that time.
In his three new applications, Prosecutor Jallow assured that, since, Rwanda fulfilled all conditions to guarantee fair trials.
Uwinkindi, currently held at the UN Detention Facility in Arusha, was arrested on June 30, 2010 in Uganda upon his entry into the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide and extermination in his further appearance on December 1, 2010.
© Hirondelle News Agency