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Three Rwanda genocide suspects arrested in Europe -- UN prosecutor

Three Rwanda genocide suspects arrested in Europe -- UN prosecutor

The chief United Nations war crimes prosecutor announced today the arrests of three suspects indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

Speaking at a news conference in Geneva, Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said that the three suspects had been apprehended in three different European cities: Emmanuel Ndinabahizi in Brussels, Emmanuel Rukundo in Geneva and Simon Bikindi in Leiden, the Netherlands.

"All three are charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity," she said.

The Prosecutor noted that although all three fugitives were arrested on the same day, their respective cases were not directly linked.

Concerning next steps, she said the accused would now be transferred "to the Tribunal's Detention Unit in Arusha, Tanzania, thereby bringing the number of detainees to 50."

The Prosecutor also expressed gratitude to the Dutch, Belgian and Swiss authorities for the assistance they provided throughout this "sensitive operation."

A fourth arrest planned for today in Italy was postponed by the country's Government "on the ground that there was no proper legal basis," Ms. Del Ponte said. "In the light of the charges weighing against the accused, I fervently hope that Italy will prove itself able to meet its responsibilities and that it will agree to cooperate with the ICTR."