Arusha, April 19, 2012 (FH) – The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) today threw out a last-ditch defence motion to stay the transfer of Pastor Jean Uwinkindi to Rwanda for trial.

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Uwinkindi is to be transferred later today in accordance with an order of the ICTR President, a senior ICTR source told Hirondelle.

The transfer was approved by the ICTR trial court in June 2011 and confirmed by the Appeals Court in December. Uwinkindi will be the first ICTR detainee to be transferred to Rwanda.

In an “extremely urgent” motion filed Tuesday, Uwinkindi sought to stay the transfer, saying that recent developments in the case of Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire before the High Court in Kigali showed he would not get a fair trial.

Rejecting the motion, Appeals Chamber President Theodor Meron wrote that unlike other trials in Rwanda, Uwinkindi's case would be monitored under the supervision of the ICTR and would benefit from additional guarantees. He also stressed that the transfer could be revoked in case of violation of the rights of the defence.

Two staff of the ICTR have been appointed to act as temporary monitors of Uwinkindi's prison conditions and trial procedures in Rwanda, pending conclusion of negotiations between the ICTR and the African Commission on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR). It is the ACHPR, according to the transfer decision, that is to act as monitor on behalf of the Tribunal.