Fresh revelations from the UN documents and files indicate that Vincent Murekezi who is suspected to have a hand in the mass killing of 500,000 to 900,000 Tutsi in Rwanda popularly known as Rwandan Genocide, is not on the wanted list of the UN notorious list of Rwanda Genocide suspect, The Maravi Post can reveal.
The United Nations Security Council Resolution 955 voted to establish The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on 8 November, 1994 and the court was destined in Arusha Tanzania.
The court was established in order to judge people responsible for the Rwandan Genocide and other serious violations of international law in Rwanda, or by Rwandan citizens in nearby states, between 1 January and 31 December 1994.
The court became fully operational in 1995 and Arusha also became the location of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
First list of suspects names was sent and manhunt was launched through video documentaries where UN put aside USD 500,000 if one can report the names in the video documentary but Vincent Murekezi was not there.
In 1998, the operation of the tribunal was expanded in Resolution 1165 and for several resolutions, the Security Council called on the tribunal to complete its investigations by end of 2004 but investigations continued till 2012 where the court concluded its activities.
The idea was to give fair trial to the Genocide suspects since they could not have received fair trials in their home land.
UN was using Protocol II of the Geneva Conventions which deals with internal conflicts whereas of 2009, the tribunal had finished 50 trials and convicted 29 accused persons, and another 11 trials were in progress and 14 individuals were awaiting trial in detention; but the prosecutor transferred 5 to national jurisdiction for trial.
UN posted a video to call for the arrest of 13 who were at large but Vincent again was not there. The first trial, of Jean-Paul Akayesu, began in 1997. Jean Kambanda, interim Prime Minister, pleaded guilty.
According to the ICTR’s Completion Strategy, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1503 all first-instance cases were to have completed trial by the end of 2008 this date was later extended to the end of 2009 and all work is to be completed by 2010.
It has recently been discussed that these goals may not be realistic and that are likely to change. The United Nations Security Council called upon the tribunal to finish its work by 31 December 2014 to prepare for its closure and transfer of its responsibilities to the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals which will begin functioning for the ICTR branch on July 1, 2012.
As of spring 2015, the Residual Mechanism had taken over much of the operations of the tribunal, and the tribunal announced on February 2, 2015 that it was significantly reducing staff with the goal of wrapping up operations and closing the tribunal by the end of 2015.
The Tribunal was officially closed on 31 December 2015 and Murekezi is never associated with all the said trials according to the United Nations records.
That is why the Malawi Governments did not arrest Vincent Murekezi till he grew into a successful businessman employing directly and indirectly 300 Malawians. Department of Immigration has also come out to say Vincent fulfilled all the requirements in getting the papers.
Courts also acquitted him on 16 June, 2016 following his arrest then. These facts indicate that some few jealousy individuals are behind the arrest of Vincent.
Further investigations reveal that Vincent is believed to be a victim of his former friends who used to do business with him and their business deals went sour, and since they have political connections in Rwanda decided to implicate him.
Meanwhile, the concern citizens led by Philip Kamangira through the press conference on Thursday, in the capital Lilongwe have withdrawn the petition presented to Malawi Parliament two weeks ago that demanded the extradition of Murekezi.
The grouping withdrawal is based on what they believe to be misinformation gotten from a third party believed to be Murekezi’s business competitors saying they persecuted an innocent person.