ICTR denounces efforts to frustrate Uwinkindi transfer

ARUSHA - Reports from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) indicate that the tribunal’s president, Khalida Rachid Khan, this week, dismissed an application to bloc the transfer of a Genocide suspect to Rwanda.Jean Uwinkidi, who is in the custody of the Tanzania-based tribunal, is the first suspect to be referred to Rwanda for trial under its completion strategy.
Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga
Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga

ARUSHA - Reports from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) indicate that the tribunal’s president, Khalida Rachid Khan, this week, dismissed an application to bloc the transfer of a Genocide suspect to Rwanda.

Jean Uwinkidi, who is in the custody of the Tanzania-based tribunal, is the first suspect to be referred to Rwanda for trial under its completion strategy.

When contacted yesterday, Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga said: “The group’s move was unnecessary, and yet another attempt to stand in the way of justice. The dismissal of the application is welcome”.

It is said that earlier this month, a group calling itself the Civil Society and Political Organisations of Rwanda (CSPO), wrote to the tribunal’s president requesting the court to add more information to the case, which is currently before an Appeals Chamber.

However, according to reliable sources, Khan wrote back saying that she did not have jurisdiction to make any amendment to the case nor pronounce herself on the case.

Among the additional information the group wanted put in the dossier include what they termed as ‘lack of fairness in the Rwandan judiciary system,’ alleging that they are concerned about Uwinkindi’s safety once he is transferred to Rwanda.

Uwinkindi was arrested in Uganda in June, last year, on an ICTR indictment, and subsequently transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha.

He is charged with Genocide, conspiracy to commit Genocide and extermination as crime against humanity.

The former Pastor of the Pentecostal Church of Kayenzi in the then Kigali-Rural Prefecture, is accused of responsibility in attacks against the Tutsi at his Church, and at Byimana and Rwankeri cellules, and in Cyugaro's swamps.

His indictment included counts of Genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and extermination as a crime against humanity.

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