Arusha, March 2, 2011 (FH) -The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Hassan Bubacar Jallow, has initiated proceedings to safeguard evidence against three suspected key perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide on the run, including the alleged financier Felicien Kabuga.

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Others are Augustin Bizimana, former Minister of Defence and Major Protais Mpiranya, who was Commander of the Presidential Guard.

"The prosecution has filed motions for the taking of deposition pursuant to Rule 71 bis of Rules of Procedure and Evidence in the three cases involving Kabuga, Bizimana and Mpiranya," the ICTR spokesperson Roland Amoussouga, told the Hirondelle News Agency Wednesday.

He went further saying, "the ICTR President has appointed a Trial Chamber in order to rule on those motions. Three duty counsels have already been appointed by the Registrar to represent best interests of the suspects who are still at large."

The counsels, include Bahame Tom Mukirya Nyanduga, who will represent Kabuga, while Bizimana will be represented by Apollo John Maruma and Counsel Francis Musei will defend interests of Mpiranya.

According to Rule71 bis "if within a reasonable time, a warrant of arrest has not been executed, the Prosecutor may submit a request to the President that evidence relating to the indictment be preserved for a further trial by special deposition recorded in a proceeding conducted by a single Judge."

The Rule further provides that "the Trial Chamber shall hear the Prosecutor and Counsel representing the interests of the accused in a closed session and may, where appropriate, receive ex parte information from the prosecutor on the whereabouts of the accused."

These are the first requests of this kind in the ICTR history. Jallow considers the three figures as key suspects among the 10 accused still on the run.

According to sources at ICTR, Kabuga is said to be carrying out his commercial activities in Kenya, while Mpiranya is allegedly being protected by senior officials in Zimbabwe, whereas the ex-Rwandan defence minister may be hiding in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).


© Hirondelle News Agency