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Page last updated at 10:29 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 11:29 UK

Rwanda anger at genocide tribunal

Yussuf Munyakazi
Mr Munyakazi denies the charges of involvement in the 1994 genocide

Rwanda's justice minister has criticised the international tribunal's refusal to transfer a case of a man accused of involvement in the genocide.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Tanzania blocked the transfer of Yussuf Munyakazi saying he would not receive a fair trial.

Tharcisse Karugarama told the BBC that the tribunal had made the wrong decision and a trial would be fair.

An estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in 1994.

Mr Munyakazi is accused of leading the Hutu Interahamwe militia which killed thousands of Tutsis during the 1994 genocide.

He denies the charges describing them as "fabrications".

'Inadequate guarantees'

"There's no doubt in my mind that conditions exist in Rwanda that ensure fair and transparent trials," Mr Karugarama told the BBC.

"Rwanda has been dealing with this problem since 1995. To say that fair conditions don't exist in Rwanda is not fair itself, but as a country we accept the court's decision," he added.

The tribunal said there were inadequate guarantees against outside pressure on the judiciary.

But Mr Karugarama said that the Rwandan judiciary enjoys total independence.

Last year, Amnesty International called on all governments not to transfer genocide suspects to Rwanda, citing serious concerns about the ability of the country's justice system to try them fairly and impartially.

In June 2007, Rwanda abolished the death penalty which it hoped would enable countries that object to capital punishment to extradite suspects.

The ICTR was set up by the United Nations in the Tanzanian town of Arusha, in 1997, to try the most high-profile genocide cases.

Twenty-eight people have been convicted and five acquitted so far.

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