Arusha, March 8, 2012 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda will hold a public hearing on April 12 on whether to send another detainee to Rwanda for trial. In an order issued Wednesday, it ordered prosecution and defence to be present to support their arguments for and against the transfer of former militiaman Bernard Munyagishari. The Rwandan government, which has also filed a brief as a an amicus curiae (friend of the court), is also invited to take part.     

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Munyagishari is one of only two ICTR detainees still awaiting trial, along with Pastor Jean Uwinkindi. As it strives to meet completion targets and finish all first instance trials by July 2012, the Tribunal last year approved Uwinkindi's transfer to Rwanda, without a public hearing.   

This is only the second public hearing of a prosecution request for an indictee transfer to Rwanda, after that concerning ex- businessman Yusuf Munyakazi on April 24, 2008. At the time, the court threw out the request on grounds that Munyakazi may not get a fair trial. He was subsequently tried and convicted by the ICTR for his role in the Rwandan genocide.   

Uwinkindi is still detained by the ICTR, pending arrangement of a satisfactory monitoring mechanism, as ordered by the court.   

Munyagishari was arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 25, 2011, and transferred to the ICTR in Arusha on June 14. He is charged with conspiracy to commit genocide; genocide or, in the alternative, complicity in genocide; and murder and rape as crimes against humanity.   


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