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Five suspects appear before Judge Laïty Kama for a hearing of a request under Article 40 bis (j)

The President, Judge Laïty Kama, of Trial Chamber I, today heard a request under Article 40 bis (j), in the matter of five suspects. Four of the suspects had been transferred from West Africa to the Tribunal's Detention Facility in Arusha on 10 July 1998, while the fifth surrendered himself to the Tribunal.

The Article on the right of a suspect after his arrest states, "After his transfer to the seat of the Tribunal, the suspect, assisted by his counsel, shall be brought, without delay, before the Judge who made the order, or another Judge of the same Trial Chamber, who shall ensure that his rights are respected." All the suspects told the court that their rights were respected when they were arrested.

The suspects are Major Bernard Ntuyahaga, who surrendered himseIf to the Tribunal; Mr. Mathieu Ngirumpatse, former Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and President of the former ruling party, MRND; Mr. Edouard Karemera, former Minister of Interior and former Vice-President of MRND; Mr. Joseph Nzirorera, former President of the National Assembly and Secretary-General of the MRND; and Mr. Omar Serushago, a businessman and local leader of the lnterahamwe militia. They were all represented by temporary duty counsel, an innovation recently adopted by the Tribunal to ensure that the appearance of accused persons or suspects before a Trial Chamber following their detention is not delayed.

Judge Kama ordered the provisional detention of the suspects up to 9 August 1998 under Rule 40 bis which states, “The provisional detention of a suspect may be ordered for a period not exceeding 30 days from the day after the transfer of the suspect to the detention unit of the Tribunal." At the end of the period, if an indictment against the suspect is yet to be filed, the Judge may decide, subsequent to an inter partes meeting, to extend the detention of the suspect for another period not exceeding 30 days.

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