11 September 2018

Rwanda: UN Court Takes Custody of Five Held for Contempt

Photo: New Times
Prosecutor General Mutangana together with MICT Prosecutor, Dr Serge Brammetz, brief the media in Kigali during a past event.

The five people recently arrested on Rwandan territory on the request of a United Nations Prosecutor have been transferred to Arusha, the seat of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals.

The five people are being accused of contempt and incitement to commit contempt of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, whose work has since been taken over by the Mechanism.

The suspects are; Maximilien Turinabo, Anselme Nzabonimpa, Jean de Dieu Ndagijimana, Marie Rose Fatuma and Dick Prudence Munyeshuli.

"Today, we have handed over the five Rwandans to the judicial authorities of the International Residual Mechanism of Criminal Tribunal and they have been transferred to the UN detention facility in Arusha (Tanzania)," reads part of a statement issued by the National Public Prosecution Authority on Monday.

The suspects were arrested in Rwanda using bribery and coercion to secure the reversal of witness testimonies in the case of convicted Genocide mastermind, Augustin Ngirabatware.

The intention, according to officials, was to secure the reversal of his conviction and 30-year prison sentence that was confirmed by the appellate court of the UN tribunal.

Ngirabatware, who has secured retrial from the UN court's Appeals Chamber, is a former Minister of Planning in the genocidal government.

The five suspects, all Rwandan, were arrested on an indictment issued by the Chief Prosecutor of the mechanism after he got information that they were interfering with administration of justice.

"The arrest warrants were issued by the Judge of the Mechanism after confirmation on 24 August 2018 of an indictment filed by the Mechanism Office of the Prosecutor," reads a statement issued earlier by the Mechanism's Chief Prosecutor, Serge Brammertz of the statement.

According to the statement, the indictment was kept under seal pending the successful arrest of the accused.

Ngirabatware was convicted for direct and public incitement to commit genocide, instigating genocide and aiding and abetting genocide.

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