ICTR transfers Ruggiu to Italy

Georges Omar Ruggiu, the only non-Rwandan convicted and sentenced by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), has been transferred to Italy to serve the remainder of his sentence, the tribunal has said.

Georges Omar Ruggiu, the only non-Rwandan convicted and sentenced by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), has been transferred to Italy to serve the remainder of his sentence, the tribunal has said.

The UN-backed court said in a statement yesterday that the transfer came after Ruggiu, 51, "surrendered to a high level delegation of the International Police Cooperation Service of the Italian Ministry of Interior."

The transfer follows an agreement on enforcement of sentences signed between the Government of Italy and the United Nations on 17 March 2004 and a recent decision of the fourth Criminal Section of the Appeals Court of Rome recognizing the ICTR sentence and authorizing its enforcement in Italy, the Tanzania-based court said.

A Belgian national, Ruggiu, worked with Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) from January, 1994 to July, 1994, at the time of Genocide.

RTLM was a hate radio that propagated genocide ideology.

He was arrested during the ICTR Prosecutor’s operation codenamed NAKI (Nairobi-Kenya) on July 23, 1997 in Mombasa, Kenya, by Kenyan authorities, after which he was immediately transferred to the tribunal’s detention facility in Arusha, Tanzania. Ruggiu was the eighth accused person to be convicted by the tribunal and the third to plead guilty to charges of genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Rwanda in 1994.

Ruggiu pleaded guilty to counts of direct and public incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity. He was on June 1, 2000 sentenced to 12 years in prison.

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