States must cooperate on criminal investigations

On Monday, the Dutch Police conducted a search in Ingabire’s houses in the village of Zevenhuizen, taking away several items, including computers and documents. It is important to note that the move, while commendable, came a little too late –  eight months after Rwanda’s prosecution requested several countries, including the Netherlands, US, Belgium and Switzerland, DR Congo and Burundi, to help provide information regarding Ingabire’s alleged criminal activities, which the prosecution believes she conducted, in one way or another, in those countries.

On Monday, the Dutch Police conducted a search in Ingabire’s houses in the village of Zevenhuizen, taking away several items, including computers and documents. It is important to note that the move, while commendable, came a little too late –  eight months after Rwanda’s prosecution requested several countries, including the Netherlands, US, Belgium and Switzerland, DR Congo and Burundi, to help provide information regarding Ingabire’s alleged criminal activities, which the prosecution believes she conducted, in one way or another, in those countries.

Technically, the prosecution needs to complete its investigations for the substantive hearing to commence. Yet, because the nature of Ingabire’s crimes have an international dimension, countries where these crimes were planned have the obligation to cooperate with the prosecution by giving them whatever available information regarding the suspect’s criminal activities.

Some of these countries have so far responded positively, while others appear reluctant to cooperate. In the interest of the truth, it is important that these states fully cooperate with the prosecution. This will, undoubtedly, help expedite the case.

In a related development, the chief prosecutor of International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has accused Zimbabwe of protecting top genocide suspect, Protais Mpiranya. Indeed, there has been long-held suspicion that Harare is protecting the former commander of the presidential guard, who is believed to own a string of businesses in the Southern African nation.

It’s time Zimbabwe and all other nations harboring genocide fugitives took their international obligations seriously and help bring these fugitives to book.

Ends

 

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