20.12.11 - ICC/MBARUSHIMANA - JUDGES REJECT PROSECUTION'S APPEAL

The Hague, December 20, 2011 (FH) - Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) Tuesday rejected prosecution's appeal in Callixte Mbarushimana's case.
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On December 16, pre-trial judges ordered Callixte Mbarushimana released after dismissing charges against him - including murder, rape and persecution - for lack of evidence. Prosecution immediately lodged an appeal, which was rejected today after the court declared that some of its content was "inadmissible".

However, « Calixte Mbarushimana is still in jail, sitting on his luggage », his lawyer Arthur Vercken explained, adding that his client's detention «  had been illegal since December 16 ».

Mbarushimana is expected to go back to France where he has a refugee status.

Court officials had booked a Tuesday flight to Paris for him, but he remained in custody after French authorities informed the court he is still subject of a U.N. travel ban and he cannot fly there without U.N. Sanctions Committee permission.

The former Executive Secretary of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), Mbarushimana had been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity, notably for his command responsibility in rapes, acts of torture and inhumane acts committed by his militia in 2009 in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He was arrested in Paris in October 2010, then transferred to the ICC on January 2011, by the French authorities following an arrest warrant issued by the ICC in September 2010.

SM/GF

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