Rwanda: former military chaplain transferred to UN criminal tribunal for trial

Rwanda: former military chaplain transferred to UN criminal tribunal for trial

A former Rwandan military chaplain has been transferred from Switzerland to Tanzania to face charges of genocide, the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda said in a statement issued today in Arusha.

Emmanuel Rukundo, 42, was arrested in Geneva on 12 July at the request of the Tribunal, which had indicted him with four counts of genocide, or in the alternative complicity in genocide, as well as crimes against humanity for murder and extermination. He was sent to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha on Thursday.

Born in Gitarama prefecture, the accused served as military chaplain in Ruhengeri prefecture before being transferred to the capital, Kigali, in 1994. He is alleged to have "ordered, instigated, encouraged, aided and abetted" the preparation and execution of crimes against Tutsis in Gitarama prefecture, the Tribunal said. He is also believed to have organized and participated in hunts for Tutsi priests and nuns in seminaries and convents in the prefecture and to have identified them to soldiers and Interahamwe militiamen so that they would be killed.

The Registrar of the Tribunal, Adama Dieng, expressed his appreciation to the Swiss authorities for their efficiency in executing the arrest warrant and the smooth processing of his transfer to Arusha. He thanked them for their continued co-operation in ensuring that the mandate of the Tribunal was fulfilled.

A Duty Counsel has already been assigned to assist the accused, who will make his initial appearance before a Trial Chamber or a Judge of the Tribunal.