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Provisional detention of former Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs extended for a further 21 days

Judge William Sekule of the Tribunal's Trial Chamber 2, today granted an application by the Prosecution for an extension of the provisional detention of former Rwandan Foreign Minister Casmir Bizimungu. The Judge, however, granted an extension of only 21 days instead of the 30 days requested by the Prosecution.

The Prosecution had argued that special circumstances existed which warranted a further extension of a Detention Order, as required by the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Tribunal. The relevant rules allow the initial period of detention to be extended on two occasions for periods not exceeding 30 days.

Bizimungu, a medical doctor, who at one time was also Minister of Health, is presently held in the Detention Facility of the Tribunal in Arusha, on the basis of an Order for Transfer and Provisional Detention signed by Judge Sekule on 18 February 1999 and extended for a further period of 30 days by an Order signed by the same Judge on 23 March 1999. Bizimungu was arrested in Nairobi on 11 February 1999 and transferred to Arusha on 23 February 1999. He is suspected of having committed Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity in Rwanda in 1994.

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