Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rwanda: UN tribunal transfers another genocide case to Rwandan authorities

27 February 2012 – The United Nations tribunal trying key suspects implicated in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda has transferred to Rwandan authorities the case of Fulgence Kayishema, an indicted former police inspector who remains at large.

The decision by the referral chamber of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Wednesday to transfer Mr. Kayishema’s case to Rwanda is the second by the court following that of Pastor Jean Uwinkindi whose transfer decision was made on 28 June last year and confirmed by the appeals chamber on 16 December.

However, Mr. Uwinkindi’s transfer is yet to be effected. On Friday, ICTR President Khalida Rachid Khan ordered that his transfer be stayed until such a time as the judge is satisfied that a suitable monitoring mechanism has been established.

In its ruling on Mr. Kayishema’s referral, the three-judge panel ordered that the prosecution of the case be referred to the authorities in Rwanda, who will in turn hand over the case to the Rwandan High Court.

It also ordered that the ICTR prosecution hand over to Rwanda’s Prosecutor General no later than 30 days after the decision has become final, the material supporting the indictment against Mr. Kayishema and all other appropriate evidence in the possession of the prosecution.

Since the accused is yet to be arrested, the referral chamber requested that Rwanda, upon apprehension of the accused or receiving news or confirmation of his death, to provide the ICTR or the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals with regular reports on efforts taken to apprehend him.

Based in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha, the ICTR was set up after the Rwandan genocide, when at least 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed during three months of bloodletting that followed the death of then president Juvenal Habyarimana when his plane was brought down over the capital, Kigali.