The Hague, May 20, 2011 (FH) - Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) rejected, on May 19, Callixte Mbarushimana's request to be granted provisional release pending trial.

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The former Executive Secretary of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, notably for rapes, acts of torture and inhumane acts committed in 2009 in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

On October 11, 2010, Mbarushimana was arrested in France, where he had been living as a political refugee since 2002. He was transferred to The Hague on January 25, 2011.

His lawyer Nicholas Kaufman had suggested that the defendant could be granted provisional release in his home in Paris, claiming he would wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. However, the judges ruled that Mbarushimana had the means to escape or intimidate witnesses.

"The FDLR has an international support network capable of providing financial support to the FDLR leaders" reads part of the ruling.

It also states that « Mbarushimana is predisposed to witness intimidation". Mbarushimana's notebooks found in his French home made clear, according to the judges, that he intended to disclose names of protected witnesses testifying in Ignace Murwanashyaka's trial.

The hearing of confirming the charges brought against Callixte Mbarushiman will start on July 4. If the judges follow the Prosecution, he will then be formally indicted.


© Hirondelle News Agency