Arusha, January 31, 2012 (FH) - The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has requested the Appeals Chamber to reject Pastor Jean Uwinkindi's application, seeking for reconsideration of the decision confirming his transfer to Rwanda for trial.

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He also asked the Chamber to vacate its interim order of January 26, 2012, staying the transfer of the Rwandan Pastor, pending determination of his motion.

A decision authorizing the transfer of Uwinkindi's case to Rwanda for trial was confirmed by the Appeals Chamber on December 16, 2011, after dismissing his appeal, opposing the move.

Uwinkindi's lawyers argue that their client should not be moved from the ICTR custody before an operational monitoring mechanism by the African Commission on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR), as previously ordered by Trial Chamber, is put in place.

However, Prosecutor's response dated January 30, 2012, explained that the defence's action was both procedurally and substantively flawed.

"Uwinkindi fails to demonstrate any exceptional circumstances meriting reconsideration of the Chamber's decision. His professed fear of imminent transfer to Rwanda without the monitoring mechanism being in place is unfounded and, at best, premature given the time remaining for the Registrar to comply with the Trial Chamber's decision," he stated.

The accused is supposed to be transferred to Rwanda no later than February 23.  "The Prosecutor is confident that the Registrar will meet this deadline and stands ready to provide whatever assistance the Registrar may require to fully implement the Trial Chamber's referral order as affirmed by this (Appeals) Chamber," he explained.

Uwinkindi, born in Rutsiro commune, Kibuye prefecture (west Rwanda) in 1951 is charged with genocide and extermination, as a crime against humanity. He was arrested on June 30, 2010 in Uganda and transferred to the seat of ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania on July 2, 2010.


© Hirondelle News Agency