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ICTR denies extradition request for Rwanda genocide suspect

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website; JURIST news archive] Friday denied a request to extradite genocide suspect Gaspard Kanyarukiga [TrialWatch profile] to Rwanda for trial. The former businessman is said to have planned and supervised large-scale killings of Tutsis in Rwanda's Kibuye prefecture through a conspiracy with police and government officials. The ICTR ruled [PDF text; ICTR press release] that:

...the Republic of Rwanda has made notable progress in improving its judicial system. Its legal framework contains satisfactory provisions concerning jurisdiction and criminalises Gaspard Kanyarukiga’s alleged conduct. The death penalty has been abolished. However, the Chamber is not satisfied that Kanyarukiga will receive a fair trial if transferred to Rwanda. First, it is concerned that he will not be able to call witnesses residing outside Rwanda to the extent and in a manner which will ensure a fair trial. Second, it accepts that the Defence will face problems in obtaining witnesses residing in Rwanda because they will be afraid to testify. Third, there is a risk that Kanyarukiga, if convicted to life imprisonment there, may risk solitary confinement due to unclear legal provisions in Rwanda.
Kanyarukiga was indicted [indictment, PDF] by the tribunal in December 2001 for his involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The UN News Centre has more. AFP has additional coverage.

No trial date has been set for Kanyarukiga, who faces charges of genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and extermination as a crime against humanity. The charges stem from an April 1994 incident in which over 2,000 Tutsi victims were massacred at a Catholic church in the western Rwandan province of Kibuye. In July 2004, Kanyarukiga pleaded not guilty [transcript, PDF; JURIST report] to the charges.

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