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Bagaragaza Transferred back to Arusha

Michel Bagaragaza, former Director General of the office controlling the Rwandan Tea industry during the period of the genocide was on 20 May 2008 transferred back to Arusha from The Hague, The Netherlands. This follows a revocation of an application by the Prosecutor for referral of the case to The Netherlands.

The revocation was made after the Dutch Prosecutor informed the Tribunal that their courts did not have any jurisdiction in trying such a case.

Bagaragaza, on 16 August 2005, surrendered to the Tribunal in Arusha and was charged with four counts of conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide and violations of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Additional Protocol II of 1977.

On 18 August 2005, the accused was transferred to the Detention Unit of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia following a request by the ICTR Prosecutor to grant the transfer for security reasons.

This was followed by two attempts by the Prosecutor to transfer Bagaragaza’s case to the Kingdom of Norway and to The Netherlands. In the case of the Kingdom of Norway, the Trial Chamber, relying on the submissions by the Norwegian Prosecutor, found that Norwegian criminal law did not provide for the crime of genocide, which was alleged in the Indictment, and therefore denied the application.

When the Prosecution renewed its request for referral to The Netherlands, it was supported by a statement of the Dutch prosecutor that The Netherlands had jurisdiction to try the case. However, in a similar case involving another Rwandan, The Hague District Court afterwards stated that the Dutch Courts do not have any jurisdiction in trying such a case.

As a result, the Dutch Prosecutor informed the ICTR Prosecutor who then requested the revocation of the referral. On 17 August 2007, the referral order was revoked.

For information only - Not an official document

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