ICTR hands over two more files
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), yesterday, handed over case files of two genocide fugitives; Alloys Ndimbati and Charles Ryandekayo, to the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA).
This follows the referral of the cases by the Tanzania-based court that is currently winding up its activities after 18 years.
The files which contain material supporting the indictments against the accused were handed over in Kigali to Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, by James Arguin, who is in charge of Appeals at the tribunal.
Ndimbati is a former Bourgmestre (Mayor) of Gisovu Commune in the former Kibuye Prefecture while Ryandekayo was an influential businessman in Kubuye, now in the Western Province.
The duo, who are still at large, are charged, individually, for the crimes they committed in Kibuye during the Genocide, which include genocide, complicity in genocide and direct public incitement to commit genocide.
Other charges are extermination, murder and rape.
The two dossiers are part of the eight cases that have been slated for referral to Rwanda for trial; however, all but two of the suspects are in custody while rest are at large.
Of the two in custody, Jean Uwinkindi, a clergyman has since been transferred to Rwanda while Bernard Munyagishari has appealed against his extradition.
Arguin said Rwanda’s legal system has the capacity to try such cases.
“The referral of these two cases does not mark the end of our cooperation with Rwanda. We will continue to assist Rwanda in its tracking efforts to apprehend the fugitives,” said Arguin.
He added that international arrest warrants have been issued in both the two cases handed over, just like the others previously received by Rwanda.
“Those arrest warrants require all UN member states to cooperate with Rwanda so that these fugitives can be apprehended and surrendered to the custody of Rwanda where they will stand trial,” he explained..
Ngoga commended the ICTR prosecutor for the work done and called upon countries that still harbour Genocide fugitives to follow the ICTR’s example.
“It wasn’t easy; it called for a lot of resilience and efforts, and we thank the prosecutor’s team for a very unwavering partnership as we worked on various reforms, trying to convince the chambers that actually Rwanda’s jurisdiction was ready to handle these cases,” said Ngoga.
He promised fair trial as expected and to use standards that are internationally acknowledged.
“When we made these commitments, we meant to live up to them. We will do all the best not to disappoint the OTP and the international community that trusted us in these cases,” Ngoga said.
“We still have a huge number of fugitives in so many countries, both in Africa and beyond. The difficulties we have had throughout, is that we were not being trusted as a country that would handle all these cases according to international standards”.
Handing over the cases is part of the completion strategy of the tribunal, which will be replaced by the International Residual Mechanism, whose operations started in July.