Parliament to discuss ICTR concerns

Rwanda’s Special Representative to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Aloys Mutabingwa, has said that Parliament will soon look into the UN court’s concerns of denying transfer of cases to Rwanda.
L-R: Rwanda’s Special Representative to the ICTR, Aloys Mutabingwa, Yusuf Munyakazi, Gaspard Kanyarukiga.
L-R: Rwanda’s Special Representative to the ICTR, Aloys Mutabingwa, Yusuf Munyakazi, Gaspard Kanyarukiga.

Rwanda’s Special Representative to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Aloys Mutabingwa, has said that Parliament will soon look into the UN court’s concerns of denying transfer of cases to Rwanda.

Mutabingwa said that the House will discuss the issue of solitary confinement and protection of witnesses which are the major reasons ICTR advances for denial of transfer of cases.

“This week discussions will be held in both Chambers in an effort to calm down the fears this court has,” he said in an interview with The New Times yesterday.

“The discussions will include examining how solitary confinement can be avoided when handling cases that have been shifted from ICTR or cases from other States that don’t allow the solitary confinement punishment,” Mutabingwa said.

The protection of witnesses, he said, would be subjected to more legal guarantees and that a technical approach would be used in dealing with the issue.

The move comes in the wake of ICTR’s denial last Friday to transfer Genocide suspect Gaspard Kanyarukiga to Rwanda who is facing charges of Genocide, complicity in Genocide, and extermination as a crime against humanity.

Mutabingwa expressed hope that once the two issues have been fully addressed by Rwanda, ICTR would transfer the cases to Rwanda since the UN court considers those as the current impeding factors.

Government has continuously said that the claim of witnesses is baseless because Rwanda has shown it has capacity to protect witnesses, stating that even those in Tanzania are protected by Rwanda.

The ICTR Prosecution requested for the transfer of five Genocide suspects to Rwanda. The two that have been denied transfer is; Yusuf Munyakazi and Gaspard Kanyarukiga.

The remaining three are; IIdephonse Hategekimana a former camp commandant in Ngoma, Southern Province, Jean Baptiste Gatete a former Bourgomestre in Byumba Northern Province and Fulgence Kayishema a former prosecutor in Kibuye. 

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