UN court wants Rwanda case back

NOT GETTING A FAIR TRIAL:  UN wants Jean Uwinkindi's case back

NOT GETTING A FAIR TRIAL: UN wants Jean Uwinkindi’s case back

Pastor Jean Uwinkindi’s genocide case could be the first to be transferred back to UN jurisdiction following the defendant’s complaints he is not getting a fair trial in Rwanda.

While appearing in court Tuesday, the former Pentecostal pastor said that his newly appointed lawyers were not helpful in his trial and instead worsening matters concerning his charges of genocide.

The prosecution office had provided Uwinkindi with two new lawyers-Isacar Hishamunda and Joseph Ngabonziza, to defend him after his lawyers quit. Uwinkindi’s defense has so far cost over Rwf 80 million for the last two years.

“These men don’t work for me but someone else. I don’t want them in my case and I want this case halted so that I am given a chance to get my own defense team.” The defendant said

Following these claims, the UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) now says the genocide case that was handed over to the Rwandan judiciary by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) may have to be returned, due to fair trial concerns.

The two defense lawyers however told court that the case should retried and that they will need more time to study it.

The Court said that it will take some time to analyze the requests of both sides (Uwinkindi and his lawyers) and later present a final decision on June 5, 2015.

Pastor Uwikindi was arrested in Uganda in Isingiro district, southwest Uganda, in 2010. He is charged with the crimes of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and extermination as crime against humanity and is alleged to have committed the crimes in Kigali Rural Prefecture between April and July 1994, where he participated in the massacre at a church in Kayenzi .

The ICTR transferred Uwinkindi’s case to Kigali on 19 April 2012, following a long legal battle by lawyers of the Pentecostal pastor. Previously, the ICTR had rejected all transfer requests by the prosecutor, arguing that Rwanda lacked conditions for fair trials. But after Kigali implemented a series of reforms, the court finally agreed.