Friday 6 June 2008

British Court Agrees to Rwandan Extradition, While International Tribunal Denies a Second Application

Two new judgments today on the evolving saga of transfer and extradition of genocide suspects to Rwanda. A British judge ruled today in favour of extradition of four Rwandans currently detained in the UK. See: Government of Rwanda v. Bajinya et al.:
Meanwhile, a second decision of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, this one from a different Trial Chamber, has dismissed an application to transfer a case to the Rwandan courts: Prosecutor v. Kanyarukiga: The judges basically confirm two of the arguments in the previous decision (see this blog, 29 May 2008), but are dismissive of the charge that the Rwandan judiciary is not independent and impartial. Earlier this week, on Wednesday, Rwanda’s Attorney General criticised last week’s judgment in a statement to the UN Security Council:
Today's decision not only reviews the grounds for denying transfer, it also addressed many of the arguments that had been raised by the defence and by human rights NGOs and dismisses them.
More Trial Chamber decisions from the Rwanda Tribunal are awaited in the coming weeks. The Prosecutor told the Security Council that he would appeal his defeat of last week. And it is likely that the British judgment of today will also be appealed. Stay tuned.

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