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UN Court Upholds Ex-Rwandan Minister Acquittal
2006-2-9 14:51:29    CRIENGLISH.com

The appeals chamber of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has upheld a lower court's decision to acquit former Rwandan transport minister from genocide charges.

The Arusha-based UN court, according to reports reaching here on Thursday, upheld on Wednesday the lower court's February of 2004 decision to set free Andre Ntagerura and ex-governor of Rwanda's Cyangugu province Emmanuel Bagambiki.

Presiding Judge Fausto Pocar told a fully-packed court that the appeals chamber was upholding the lower court's decision by confirming the duo's acquittal.

UN Prosecutor for Rwanda Hassan Jallow said: "The appeals chamber has the final word."

The UN court started on Monday hearing the appeal by the prosecution that wanted to overturn the acquittal decision.

The prosecution had claimed that the acquittal was erroneous as the ex-minister had fully participated in the 1994 genocide and it had requested the appeals court to order a re-trial of Ntagerura and Bagambiki.

The duo had been charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions in connection with the massacres committed in Cyangugu.

The ICTR was established in 1998 to deal with the trials of the Rwandan genocide suspects and accused.

Rwanda's genocide in 1994 claimed 800,000 lives in a space of 100 days.

(Source: Xinhua)

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