Arusha, January 18, 2012 (FH) -The Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is seeking guidance from the President of the Tribunal about the effective transfer of Pastor Jean Uwinkindi to Rwanda for trial.

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The Registry said, in a motion, that there were ongoing discussions with the African Commission on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR). The ACHPR should be monitoring the trial and the detention conditions of Pastor Uwinkindi in Rwanda. The motion also read that the ICTR has currently no specific budget for this monitoring process.

The Registrar suggests that the prison which will host the Pentecostal Pastor be inspected before the effective transfer to see if it meets international standards.

"Accordingly, the Registrar seeks guidance of the President on whether the Tribunal may consider transferring the accused to Rwanda only upon settlement of these practical matters," he stated in his submission dated January 16, 2012 to the President.

On June 28, 2011, the Referral Chamber granted the prosecution application to transfer Uwinkindi's case for trial to Rwanda after being satisfied that the country had made material changes in its law and had indicated its capacity and willingness to prosecute cases referred by ICTR adhering to internationally recognized fair trial standards.

The Appeals Chamber confirmed the referral decision on December 18, 2011 after dismissing Uwinkindi's appeal, opposing the move.

On the same day when the Registrar made his submissions to the President,  ICTR Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow handed over the case file for Uwinkindi to Rwanda's Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga.

At the ceremony, Ngoga said, "The referral reflects our acknowledgement of the important advancements Rwanda has made in terms of law reform and capacity building within the justice system."

Uwinkindi, born in Rutsiro commune, Kibuye prefecture (west Rwanda) in 1951, is charged with genocide and extermination, as a crime against humanity.  He is alleged to have committed the offences between April 6 and May 1994 in Kanzenze commune, Kigali Rural prefecture (Central Rwanda).   

According to the indictment, he is individually responsible for genocide and extermination because he allegedly planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the preparation or execution of such crimes.

Uwinkindi was arrested on June 30, 2010 in Uganda as he was coming into the country from the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and was transferred to the seat of ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania on July 2, 2010.


© Hirondelle News Agency