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Press Statement: Théoneste Bagosora to face International Court

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (the "International Tribunal") has submitted to the Trial Chamber an application for a formal request for deferral to be made to the Government of Belgium in the case of Théoneste Bagosora.

Colonel Théoneste Bagosora was Director of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Defence in Rwanda, a position he held throughout the April 1994 events. Moreover, he was one of the close associates of President Habyarimana. He has been detained in Yaounde, Cameroon, since 9 March 1996, pursuant to an international warrant of arrest issued by the Belgian Examining Magistrate, Judge Vandermeersch. He is the subject of a request for extradition from the Belgian and Rwandan authorities. He is alleged to have masterminded the massacres of Rwandan civilians, as well as the murder of ten Belgian soldiers from the UNAMIR contingent.

The Trial Chamber, presided by Judge Laïty Kama, President of the International Tribunal, and consisting of Judges Lennart Aspegren and Navanethem Pillay, has today, on 17 May 1996, granted the request and formally requested the Government of Belgium to defer to the International Tribunal all investigations and criminal proceedings currently being conducted against Théoneste Bagosora.

Also today, the International Tribunal, sitting as Judge Aspegren, has granted requests made by the Prosecutor and ordered the provisional detention, for a maximum period of thirty days, of the following:

-Théoneste Bagosora;

-Ferdinand Nahimana (one of the alleged persons responsible for the propaganda leading to the genocide);

-Anatole Nsengiyurnva;

-Andre Ntagerura;

and ordered their transfer to the Tribunal' s detention unit.

For information only - Not an official document

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