ICTR will not transfer Felicien Kabuga Genocide file to Rwanda
Arusha – The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will hand over case files of all Genocide suspects to competent national courts except for those of the three most wanted fugitives, the court has said.
Tribunal’s spokesman Roland Amoussouga informed Rwanda Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga Thursday that the Tribunal will transfer all other genocide case files to competent jurisdiction including Rwandan courts, “apart from those involving Kabuga Felicien, Mpiranya Protais and Augustin Bizimana”.
Billionaire Felicien Kabuga is alleged to have been the financer of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis. Controversy still remains as to where the 74-year old is hiding – with the ICTR standing firm that he is in Kenya.
Major Mpiranya Protais headed the notorious presidential guard of ex-president Juvenal Habyarimana. Mpiranya, believed to be living in Zimbabwe with protection from the highest echelons of power, allegedly commanded the troops which killed ex-PM Agathe Uwiringiyimana on April 07 1994. Some information has indicated he may have died of HIV/Aids.
As for Augustin Bizimana, during the Tutsi Genocide, he was Defense Minster in the interim government – controlling the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR). Except for Kabuga and Mpiranya, whose locations have been guessed, Bizimana remains off the radar completely.
All the three men each have a US$5million bounty on their heads by the US government.
The ICTR spokesman told the Rwanda prosecutor Genaral Ngoga at a joint press conference that some cases could be handed to Rwanda. As for case files of suspects that are yet to be apprehended – will be forwarded to countries of refugee, said Amoussouga.
Ngoga said Rwanda has completed all the necessary judicial and institutional reforms demanded by the ICTR to allow for transfer of suspects and convicts to Rwanda.
In June, the Arusha-based (Tanzania) court handed over another 25 case files to Rwanda, which could be handled by the local courts. The files include those of suspects who have been investigated but not yet indicted by the ICTR, and are believed to be in hiding abroad.