Rwandan Prosecution Ready for Uwinkindi Trial

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The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) has announced that, it’s ready to handle the case of Genocide suspect, Jean Uwinkindi.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), last Friday made a final ruling on the referral of Jean Uwinkindi, to stand trial in Rwanda after he lost an appeal in his battle to fight his transfer to Rwanda.

Speaking to The New Times yesterday, Alain Mukuralinda, NPPA Spokesman, said the prosecution was prepared to handle the case of Uwinkindi.

“The decision by the ICTR to transfer Uwinkindi has become law, now the remaining part is ours to handle accordingly,” he added.

The final ruling by the ICTR cannot be appealed against in any jurisdiction, meaning his transfer to Rwanda, which is in line with the tribunal’s completion strategy, is according to Mukurarinda, supposed to be effected within 30 days.

Mukuralinda stated that after Uwinkindi’s transfer to Rwanda, he will remain in custody as he stands his trial.

According to Maj. Gen Paul Rwarakabije, the Commissioner General of Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS), the institution has the required facilities to accommodate Uwinkindi.

“We are well prepared. We are only waiting for his transfer,” he noted.

Rwarakabije added that the suspect will be taken to Mpaga Prison in the Southern Province, where he will be detained during the course of his trial, following the approval of the facility by the ICTR.

Athanase Rutabingwa, the president of the Kigali Bar Association, told The New Times that his association will allow Uwinkindi to seek foreign lawyers if he needs them during the trial.

“We always accredit foreign lawyers who have clients in Rwanda, so he will be allowed to use any lawyer he wants, and that lawyer will be accredited,” he added.

When contacted, ICTR spokesperson, Rolland Amoussouga, said the tribunal was waiting for the prosecution to fine-tune Uwinkindi’s indictment before the process of his transfer kicks off.

“There are some amendments court had told the Office of Prosecutor to make on his indictment before everything, but what I can tell you is his transfer is imminent,” he said.

He added that the transfer process will be managed by the Office of the Registrar but could not confirm whether the process would be completed within 30 days.

Meanwhile, Amoussouga said that the ICTR appointed the African Court of Human Rights to represent its interests in the trial of Uwinkindi.

“They will be giving monthly updates to the ICTR and after the phase out of the tribunal’s president, or to any other authority that will be in charge of the residual mechanism after the ICTR closes down,” said Amoussouga.

Uwinkindi, who was arrested in Uganda and transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha, is accused of masterminding the Genocide, mainly at the Pentecostal Church in Kayenzi, now in Bugesera District.

He is also accused of unleashing militiamen on refugees, mostly members of his church, who had sought refuge at the church he headed, and participating in the killings.

Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/printable/201112200728.html

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