Arusha, August 26, 2011 (FH) - Genocide-convict Father Emmanuel Rukundo was transferred from the UN Detention facility in Arusha to a Malian jail on July 27, 2011, Hirondelle News Agency learned on Friday.

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On October 2010, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) reduced to 23 years the 25 year jail term imposed on Rwandan priest by the lower court.

It confirmed the conviction of Rukundo, former Military Chaplain, for genocide, murder and extermination in relation to abduction and murder of Tutsis who had sought refuge at Saint Joseph's College and Saint Leon Minor Seminary, both situated in Gitarama prefecture, Central Rwanda, after founding him guilty of abetting and aiding the crimes.

"The court has transferred Emmanuel Rukundo to Mali where he will serve his sentence. It follows a decision taken by the Tribunal's President on May 23", ICTR Spokesman Roland Amoussouga told Hirondelle News Agency on Friday.

Rukundo was arrested in Switzerland in July 2001 and transferred to the ICTR detention facilities two months later. His trial began in November 2006.

 In Mali, Rukundo will join 14 ICTR convicts including former Rwanda Prime Minister Jean Kambanda.

Seven other convicts are currently serving their sentences in Benin while Michel Bagaragaza is imprisoned in Sweden.

According to the Article 26 of the Tribunal Statute, "Imprisonment shall be served in Rwanda or any of the States on a list of States which have indicated to the Security Council their willingness to accept convicted persons, as designated by the International Tribunal for Rwanda".

So far, Mali, Benin, Sweden, Swaziland, France, Italy and Rwanda  are the only countries to have signed with the ICTR an agreement on  the enforcement of sentences.


© Hirondelle News Agency