Kigali, April 19, 2012 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday handed over to Rwandan authorities genocide-suspect Jean Bosco Uwinkindi. Wearing a tie and a suit, the 61-year old churchman arrived at Kigali International Airport aboard a commercial RwandAir flight at 5.40 p.m.

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Among the officials waiting for him were the ICTR Spokesperson Roland Amousouga, the head of Rwanda’s Genocide Fugitives Tracking Unit, John Bosco Siboyintore, and the Spokesperson of Rwandan Prosecution Alain Mukurarinda.

Uwinkindi was almost immediately driven away to a special transit facility at the Kigali Central Prison.

“We feel very satisfied. We have proved to the world that that our Justice system was fair and independent. We would like to thank the ICTR generally for the significant vote of confidence it has given to the Rwandan justice system”, Mukurarinda told Hirondelle News Agency on the phone.

«We encourage countries who host genocide-suspects to follow ICTR’ s example”, he added.

Five previous requests of transfers had been rejected since 2007, on ground that the country didn’t meet the conditions for organizing fair trials. Since then, Rwanda has made several changes in its judicial system to comply with ICTR requirements.

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.

The transfer could be revoked at any time in case of violation of the rights of the defence.