ICTR upholds decision to refuse genocide suspect transfer

ICTR upholds decision to refuse genocide suspect transfer

[JURIST] The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] on Thursday refused [press release] to grant Rwanda's request to have genocide suspect Yussuf Munyakazi [case materials] transferred to the country to face trial. The chamber upheld an earlier decision [text, PDF; official press release] by an ICTR panel denying the request based on concerns that punishments imposed in place of the now-abolished death penalty might not conform with international human rights standards, and that the Rwandan judiciary might not be fully independent and immune from outside pressure. Rwandan Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga in May criticized the earlier decision [JURIST report] and insisted that Rwanda's judicial system was fully independent and capable of guaranteeing a fair trial. Rwandan Justice Mminister Tharcisse Karugarama said that the country had been dealing with genocide issues since 1995 and that suggesting unfairness in the court system was itself unfair [BBC report]. Hirondelle News has more.

Officials in Congo captured [press release] Munyakazi in 2004. He was charged [indictment, PDF] with genocide or complicity in genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity for his suspected role in the killings of thousand of Tutsis during the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder].