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DATE=11/8/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RWANDA GENOCIDE (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-255931 BYLINE=JENNIFER WIENS DATELINE=NAIROBI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Rwanda is suspending cooperation with the U-N war crimes court that is trying suspects in connection with Rwanda's 1994 genocide. Rwanda's action follows the court's decision last week to free a suspect because of problems with trial procedures. Jennifer Wiens has more from V-O-A-s East Africa bureau. TEXT: The Rwandan government calls the decision by the U-N Tribunal to drop genocide charges against former Rwandan official Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza a dangerous precedent. The government says it will no longer cooperate or give assistance to the Tribunal. Rwanda's General Prosecutor, Gerald Gahima, says the suspension will remain in place until the dispute over Mr. Barayagwiza's release is resolved. /// ACT GAHIMA /// We shall suspend all cooperation with the Tribunal, with all the organs of the Tribunal for the time being, pending finding an acceptable solution to the current crisis. /// END ACT /// The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the U- N court which is trying suspects from the 1994 genocide, released Mr. Barayagwiza last Wednesday. The appeals chamber of the Tribunal decided his case took too long to come to trial, thereby violating his rights as an accused. Mr. Barayagwiza was arrested in Cameroon in March 1996, but was not brought before the Tribunal, based in Arusha, Tanzania, until November 1997. Mr. Barayagwiza based an appeal for release on the delay, and also complained that he was not informed of the charges against him until months after his arrest. /// OPT /// The court granted the appeal and also said he could not be indicted again by the Tribunal, but should be sent back to Cameroon. Mr. Barayagwiza is asking not to be returned to Cameroon, although the authorities there have indicated they will not re- arrest Mr. Barayagwiza or extradite him to Rwanda. /// END OPT /// Mr. Barayagwiza was a top government official at the time of the massacres, when extremists from the ruling ethnic Hutu killed more than one-half-million of the minority ethnic Tutsi and moderate Hutu in a three- month long bloodbath. /// OPT /// Mr. Barayagwiza faced seven charges, ranging from crimes against humanity to inciting others to genocide. Mr. Barayagwiza helped set up the notorious Radio Milles Collines, a private radio station whose broadcasts encouraged Hutu militias to kill Tutsi civilians. /// END OPT /// Mr. Barayagwiza's prominent role in the genocide makes his release especially troubling for Rwanda's current leaders. Rwanda has complained about the U-N Tribunal, saying it is moving too slowly and does not give out death penalties. The Tribunal has returned five judgements in five years of operation. Meanwhile, Rwandan courts are also prosecuting genocide suspects, having tried more than 15-hundred of the 130-thousand people in custody. Rwanda has executed 22 people found guilty of genocide. Rwanda's General Prosecutor, Gerald Gahima, says Rwanda appreciates the Tribunal's work, but is afraid Mr. Barayagwiza's release could encourage other suspects to make appeals. /// ACT GAHIMA /// We appreciate the work that they have been doing, but we disapprove very strongly of this very precedent. I think it has the potential to undo all the good work they have been doing. /// END ACT /// The Tribunal's ability to conduct trials could be seriously affected by Rwanda's suspension of cooperation because many witnesses and suspects are in Rwanda. Under international law and U-N resolutions, Rwanda could be forced to continue at least some cooperation with the tribunal or face sanctions. (SIGNED) NEB/JW/GE/RAE 08-Nov-1999 08:21 AM EDT (08-Nov-1999 1321 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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