Countdown to Uwinkindi’s transfer begins

The transfer of Jean Uwinkindi must now be carried out within 30 days, from yesterday, following the approval of amendments in the indictment as requested by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

The transfer of Jean Uwinkindi must now be carried out within 30 days, from yesterday, following the approval of amendments in the indictment as requested by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

Yesterday’s decision was the only legal hurdle that stood between Uwinkindi, and Rwanda, where he expected to be tried for charges of Genocide as contained in his indictment.

“The amendment for Uwinkindi’s indictment has been confirmed as was requested by the Prosecutor, and the transfer to Rwanda should take place within 30 days of this decision,” said ICTR Spokesperson, Rolland Amoussouga, in a telephone interview.

He however did not disclose when the transfer will take place, neither did he disclose the content of the latest decision, concerning how the Prosecutor wanted the indictment amended saying the document was confidential.

Currently confined at the Tanzania-based UN Detention Facility, Uwinkindi will be the first person to be transferred to Rwanda by the tribunal under its completion strategy, as the UN-backed court gears to wind up its activities by 2014.

Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga welcomed the latest decision.
“This is good that further clarification was done and what is expected next is the arrival of Uwinkindi within 30 days…on our part, we will set out to do what our law stipulates as soon as he arrives,” he commented.

A special law established to govern the trials of ICTR transferees and other suspects that may be extradited to Rwanda from national jurisdictions, gives certain guarantees to such individuals, including detention conditions.They can only be detained at special facilities established at Kigali Central Prison and Mpanga Prison in the Southern Province, and are entitled to enlist the services of a foreign lawyer if they so wish.

Uwinkindi, a former clergyman in Bugesera District, was arrested in Uganda in 2010. He is accused of working with militias in 1994 to massacre members of his congregation.

fkimenyi@newtimes.co.rw

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