Rwanda court orders temporary release of ICTR investigator

Rwanda court orders temporary release of ICTR investigator

[JURIST] A Rwandan court has ordered that a defense investigator for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website; JURIST news archive] be provisionally released from police custody, according to Friday media reports. Leonidas Nshogoza was arrested in June 2007 for allegedly bribing witnesses and "minimizing" the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder]. Prosecution spokesman Jean Bosco Mutangana said Nshogoza will remain free while his trial remains adjourned so that the prosecution can have more time to study an immunity claim raised by the defense. ICTR defense lawyers have demanded Nshogoza's unconditional release and criticized the charges for undermining the independence of the tribunal.

The ICTR recently announced that it will be unable to complete its work [JURIST report] before its mandate expires in December 2008. The ICTR was established to try genocide suspects for crimes occurring during the 1994 Rwandan conflict between Hutus and Tutsis in which approximately 800,000 people, primarily Tutsis, died. Reuters has more.