On 20 November, a Trial Chamber at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) granted the request of the ICTR Prosecutor to transfer the cases of Laurent Bucyibaruta and Wenceslas Munyeshyaka to France for trial.
The two accused were arrested in France in July. On 21 November, Judge Dennis Byron, President of the Tribunal, issued an order revoking a previous ICTR court order for France to transfer the arrested fugitives to Arusha.
Munyeshyaka was a Catholic priest in Kigali during the 1994 genocide. He is charged with genocide and with rape, extermination and murder as crimes against humanity.
Bucyibaruta was prefect of the Gikongoro prefecture during the 1994 genocide. He is charged with direct and public incitement to commit genocide, genocide or alternatively complicity in genocide, and with extermination, murder and rape as crimes against humanity.
The Prosecutor submitted the transfer applications on 12 June under the Tribunal’s Rule 11 bis which allows for the transfer of ICTR indictees to national jurisdictions for trial. The transfers are part of the Tribunal’s Completion Strategy which calls for all trials to be completed by the end of 2008 and all appeals by 2010 when the ICTR will close.
The Trial Chamber referral bench was comprised of Judge Inés Monica Weinberg de Roca, presiding, Judge Lee Gacuiga Muthoga and Judge Robert Fremr.