Arusha, May,18 2006 (FH) - André Ntagerura and Emmanuel Bagambiki, two former senior Rwandan officials, who were confirmed not guilty of genocide on 8 February by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, on Wednesday visited a senior official in the registry of court to discuss attempts to find a country of asylum for them. Escorted by two policemen (one from the United Nations and one Tanzanian), they told the Hirondelle news agency that they had asked the Registrar to find a country in which their “security” would be ensured and where they could fit in.

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Since their acquittal, the two have been invited several times to the tribunal to discuss their situation, according to tribunal sources. The ICTR currently provides them with a "safe house" in Arusha.

According to another source close to the case, Ntagerura and Bagambiki would still prefer to go to France or Canada but neither of those governments have granted their request.

Bagambiki has been recently charged with rape by the Rwandan authorities. Asked about the arrest warrant issued by Rwanda after he was found not guilty for other crimes by the ICTR, Bagambiki confirmed that that case was referred to during his visit to the court. He also said the Rwandan warrant has not been transmitted to him.

The ICTR's spokesperson stated on Wednesday, during a weekly press conference, that the tribunal has received the Rwandan arrest warrant, but he did not say what the tribunal intended to do with the document. When repeatedly questioned about the situation of the acquitted men, he answered that they are “free” but can't seem to find a country of asylum.

In response to questions from Hirondelle news agency about a possible request for compensation after each accused spent respectively 5 and 7 years in jail, the two men asserted that it issue is not on their agenda.