Court releases two Rwandan genocide suspects

20th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

20 September 2007, PARIS (AFP) - A Paris appeals court on Wednesday ordered the release of two Rwandans sought on genocide charges by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

20 September 2007

PARIS (AFP) - A Paris appeals court on Wednesday ordered the release of two Rwandans sought on genocide charges by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, a 49-year-old Catholic priest, and Laurent Bucyibaruta, 62, a former government official, had been detained in France for a second time on September 6 on new warrants issued by the ICTR.

They were first detained on July 20.

"The court ordered your release on probation," said presiding judge Edith Boizette.

Lawyers for the two men had said that there was no risk that they would flee if released from custody.

The appeals court recommended that the two men be handed to the ICTR. It is due to give a verdict on the validity of arrest warrants issued by the ICTR on September 26.

The warrants accuse the men of genocide, rape, murder and extermination. They deny the charges.

They face similar charges in France where they have been on probation since 1995.

They were first arrested on July 20 but freed 12 days later when a French court ruled that warrants from the ICTR were invalid.

The Rwandan genocide was sparked by the assassination in April 1994 of then Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana. Some 800,000 people -- mainly minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus -- were massacred by Hutu extremists.

AFP

Subject: French news

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