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Genocide suspect Bagaragaza transferred to The Hague

[Tanzania] Michel Bagaragaza before the U.N Court in Arusha on August 16,2005.
Michel Bagaragaza before the UN Tribunal in Arusha on 16 August, 2005. (IRIN)

Rwandan genocide suspect Michel Bagaragaza, who surrendered on Tuesday to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania, has been transferred to The Hague, the Netherlands, for detention pending his trial, tribunal Acting Prosecuror Bongani Majola, said.

Bagaragaza, 60, had been detained in a facility at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Majola said the transfer was necessary due to security concerns in light of Bagaragaza's voluntary surrender. In a statement, the ICTR said Bagaragaza's transfer was facilitated through the continued cooperation of the Netherlands government with the tribunal, and by the relationship between the Rwandan and Yugoslav tribunals.

Following his surrender, Bagaragaza pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and complicity in genocide in his initial appearance. No date has yet been fixed for his trial.

During the 1994 genocide, Bagaragaza was director general of the office controlling the Rwandan tea industry. He allegedly ordered his subordinates and instigated, aided and abetted others to kill hundreds of Tutsi civilians who had sought refuge on Kesho Hill near a tea factory in Rubaya and in Nyundo Cathedral. Both are in Gisenyi Province, northern Rwanda.

Bagaragaza also allegedly ordered tea factory employees to provide the Hutu Interahamwe militia with fuel for vehicles, arms and ammunition from a stockpile at the factory, and ordered factory personnel to help them kill hundreds of Tutsis.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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