Netherlands may send Ingabire documents to Rwanda

Posted: November 6, 2011 in News
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By Saskia Houttuin The Netherlands has been granted permission to send documents of the imprisoned Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire to Rwanda for the purpose of her trial in Kigali. The judge stated there are no compelling grounds to prevent this. This was ruled today in an interim injunction by the court in The Hague. The Dutch state therefore agrees with judicial assistance to Rwanda. In December 2010, the Dutch criminal investigation department carried out a search of Ingabire’s home in The Netherlands, where computer equipment and documents were taken. Following a hearing in court it was decided that three of the documents could be transferred to Rwanda. Ingabire’s husband Lin Muyizere and Dutch lawyer Jan Hofdijk tried to prevent this. The indictment Hofdijk wanted to prove that if The Netherlands decides to send these documents to Rwanda, The Netherlands will be partly responsible for an unfair trial. Nevertheless, the prosecution could not provide evidence. Hofdijk’s judicial summons outlined proof of violations of fairness in the Ingabire process, but Hofdijk rejected that idea just a few days before the injunction. According to him this decision was made out of protection of its primary source of information, Ingabire’s British lawyer Iain Edwards. The document also called upon the ‘Soering arrest’: the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has established that individuals within the jurisdiction of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) must be protected from violations of their human rights outside the territory of this State. Remarkably, last week the ECHR announced in the extradition case of a Rwandan genocide suspect that he can be extradited from Sweden. The court agreed that his European human rights will not be violated since he can receive a fair trial in a Rwandan court. Hofdijk called this “dramatic” last week and already feared that today’s verdict would be affected by that. Dutch ministry: Ingabire case is fair The Ingabire case is known for its opponents, but the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs trusts that the Ingabire process is being conducted fairly. This is apparent from an advisory letter from the ministry to the Dutch Justice Ministry concerning today’s interim injunction. The letter reads as follows: “there are no specific, substantial grounds for waiving the Rwandan request for judicial assistance in the case against Victoire Ingabire”. Yesterday it was announced that the Ingabire trial in Rwanda was postponed to allow witnesses of the prosecutor to prepare cross-examination questions. Today’s interim injunction was also mentioned yesterday in Kigali: the prosecutor stated Ingabire’s Dutch lawyer delayed the transfer of the documents. The Defense counsel stated that this particular process happened out of Ingabire’s powers. Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201111040936.html

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