The Prosecutor of the Tribunal, Justice Louise Arbour, announced with great satisfaction, today in Arusha, the arrest in Cameroon of three former Ministers of the 1994 interim government of Rwanda. Jerome Bicamumpaka (former Minister of Foreign Affairs) and Prosper Mugiraneza (former Minister Responsible for Civil Service) were both arrested in Yaounde. Justin Mugenzi, Former Minister of Commerce, was arrested some 15km from Yaounde. The arrests were made this morning, Tuesday 06 April 1999, under Rule 40 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Tribunal.
Rule 40 (A) states that:
In case of urgency, the Prosecutor may request any State :
(I) to arrest a suspect and place him in custody;
(ii) to seize all physical evidence;
(iii) to take all necessary measures to prevent the escape of a suspect or an accused, injury to or intimidation of a victim or witness, or the destruction of evidence.
The transfer of the three suspects to Arusha is expected as soon as the formalities are completed in Cameroon.
The Office of the Prosecutor received excellent cooperation from the Government of Cameroon, and in particular the Minister of Justice of Cameroon and from the gendarmerie in the execution of the arrests.
The Prosecutor expressed her gratitude to Government of Cameroon for its assistance and cooperation in this matter.
These arrests bring to 38 the number of persons detained under the authority of the Tribunal.