KIGALI - The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Chief, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, Thursday filed new applications to transfer the cases of three Genocide suspects to Rwanda for trial.
This is the second time the Prosecutor of the UN-backed tribunal has filed applications for the referral of cases to Rwanda.
In 2007, Jallow filed applications for the referral of four detainees and one fugitive but all these applications failed.
According to the ICTR, the Trial Chambers then was “of the view that the accused would not receive fair trials in Rwanda as a result of some of the laws in existence in the country at that time.”
When contacted yesterday, Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga expressed optimism on the latest development.
“Much as I have not confirmed, I think the ICTR Office of the Prosecutor and ourselves have done a great deal of preparatory work, specifically to address areas of concern,” Ngoga said.
“This makes me feel more optimistic this time the applications could be allowed. In any event, Rwanda remains ready to receive and handle cases if they are transferred.”
The Tribunal announced Friday that the cases are of a detainee, Jean-Bosco Uwinkindi, a former Pastor in Charge of the Pentecostal Church in Kanzenze Commune and two fugitives; Fulgence Kayishema, the former chief of the judicial police in Kivumu commune, and Charles Sikubwabo, former Bourgmestre of Gishyita, Kibuye Prefecture.
“In his last report to the UN Security Council, delivered on 18 June 2010, the Prosecutor informed the Council that he would soon be filing these applications,” reads part of the ICTR’s communiqué.
Arrested in Uganda in June 2010, Uwinkindi is charged with Genocide, Conspiracy to Commit Genocide and Extermination as Crime Against Humanity.
Kayishema was indicted for Genocide, or in the alternative, Complicity in Genocide, Conspiracy to Commit Genocide and Extermination as a Crime Against Humanity.
“The massacres giving rise to his indictment were committed in Kivumu commune, Kibuye Préfecture, during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. It is alleged that he participated in the killing of more than 2,000 Tutsi civilians who had sought refuge at the Nyange Church.”
Sikubwabo faces two indictments issued by the ICTR. In one, he was jointly charged with father and son, Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana and Dr. Gérard Ntakirutimana, respectively, who were subsequently convicted and sentenced.