TITLE=RWANDA / TRIBUNAL (L ONLY)
INTRO: The chief prosecutor of the U-N's war crimes
tribunal says she will visit Rwanda even though the
government there has decided not to meet with her.
As Jennifer Wiens reports, Rwanda is angry with the U-
N tribunal because a man accused of helping
orchestrate the 1994 Rwanda genocide was released from
custody last week.
TEXT: The Rwanda war crimes tribunal's chief
prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, says she is going ahead
with her trip to Rwanda later this month.
She is hoping the trip will help repair relations
between Rwanda and the tribunal. But, the Rwandan
government does not welcome her visit.
Rwanda's justice minister, Jean de Dieu Mucyo, sent a
letter (on Thursday) to Ms. Del Ponte, saying he will
not meet with her when she comes. Mr. Mucyo says his
refusal is to protest the tribunal's release last week
of a war crimes suspect, Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, due
to a procedural problems with his trial.
Mr. Barayagwiza faced several charges of genocide,
inciting others to genocide, and crimes against
humanity. But the appeals chamber of the U-N tribunal
ordered Mr. Barayagwiza's release, saying prosecutors
violated his rights as an accused person because he
was detained for months without being officially
charged or brought to trial.
Mr. Barayagwiza's release angered the Rwanda
government, which considers him a ringleader of the
massacres that claimed more than one-half-million
lives in 1994, when extremists from the ruling ethnic
Hutu systematically slaughtered minority ethnic Tutsi
and moderate Hutu.
Mr. Barayagwiza was an official with Rwanda's foreign
ministry during the genocide and also helped found
Radio Milles Collines, which was notorious for its
Rwanda suspended its cooperation with the U-N tribunal
after Mr. Barayagwiza's release.
Ms. Del Ponte's trip is an effort to win back Rwanda's
assistance. Ms. Del Ponte, who also heads the U-N's
war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, says
the international court cannot continue operating
without Rwanda's cooperation and that she wants to
improve the tribunal's work.
Rwanda has long been critical of the tribunal, which
has tried only five cases in the five years since it
Meanwhile, Rwanda's own war crime courts have already
tried more than 15-hundred people and has executed 22
people found guilty of genocide. (Signed)
12-Nov-1999 11:24 AM EDT (12-Nov-1999 1624 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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