Brussels, February 20, 2012 (FH) - A Belgian court ordered on February 17 the release on bail of Mathias Bushishi, a former Rwandan Prosecutor who allegedly participated in the 1994 genocide.

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Bushishi was arrested in Brussels in April 2011 following an international arrest warrant for war crimes and genocide issued by Rwanda. He is accused of helping to plan and coordinate massacres of Tutsis in the Butare region. He will be tried in Belgium under a law of "universal jurisdiction" that allows the national courts to hear cases of crimes against humanity

The Belgian court ruled that there were sufficient guarantees for Bushishi, who has been living in Belgium with his family since 1999, to be temporarily released. His bail was set at 7,500 Euros, and he will be subjected to legal restrictions pending his trial.

Three other Rwandans were arrested with Bushishi in 2011 in Belgium. They have already been released on bail.

However, a fourth Rwandan held in Belgium since last year, Fabien Neretse, the former head of the Rwandan coffee office, remains in custody.

Neretse, 54, was arrested in France on June 30 and turned over to Belgium on account of a European arrest warrant issued on June 24 in Brussels. He is suspected of involvement in the April 9, 1994 murder in Kigali of Claire Beckers, the Belgian wife of a Rwandan.

The judges considered that the risk Neretse would escape justice was too high.

No trial is expected before 2013.


© Hirondelle News Agency