16.12.11 – ICC/MBARUSHIMANA – JUDGES ORDER IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF CALLIXTE MBARUSHIMANA

The Hague, December 16, 2011 (FH) - Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) Friday evening refused to confirm the charges brought by the Prosecution against Callixte Mbarushimana. The Rwandan computer scientist was suspected of crimes against humanity and crimes of war allegedly committed in 2009 and 2010 by a militia he supported in Eastern DRC through written statements published in Paris. The Chamber ordered his immediate release.

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Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, who had brought the charges against Mbarushimana requested the right to appeal the case.

"The evidence submitted by the Prosecution is not sufficient to establish substantial grounds to believe that the Suspect encouraged troops’ morale through his press release and radio messages", the judges stated.

They added that "most of these press releases and speeches only contained words of encouragement and praise for the troops, homage and tributes to the FDLR leaders and combatants, or more broadly, optimistic commentary as to the prospective fate of the FDLR’s struggle".

Callixte Mbarushimana was arrested in Paris on October 11, 2010 for his alleged involvement in crimes committed by the militia he supported in Eastern DRC. He was transferred to The Hague on January 25, 2011. Confirmation of charges hearings were held in September.

SM/GF

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