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18 October 2007 - Media release

International co-operation leads to arrest of Rwandan genocide suspect

LYON, France – Close co-operation between INTERPOL, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the French Ministries of Justice and the Interior has led to the arrest of a man wanted in connection with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

French police in Carcassonne in southern France arrested Dominique Ntawukuriryayo, who is the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice issued on behalf of the ICTR in November 2006. He is wanted in connection with serious offences under the 1949 Geneva Conventions and crimes against humanity.

'The extraordinary efforts made by both the French Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Interior which have resulted in this and other recent arrests should be commended,' said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

'A result such as this does not come overnight and was achieved only through the close and careful co-operation between the French authorities, INTERPOL, Rwandan authorities and the ICTR.

'This arrest also serves as a clear warning to the other fugitives wanted by the ICTR and for whom INTERPOL Red Notices have been issued that they may believe they have evaded justice, but this is very much not the case.'

Ntawukuriryayo is the third fugitive wanted by the ICTR to be caught in France. His arrest comes after delegates at INTERPOL’s 19th African Regional Conference in Tanzania called for all 186 National Central Bureaus around the world to provide whatever assistance necessary to arrest the remaining fugitives of the ICTR – who now number 15 in total.

INTERPOL’s President Jackie Selebi told the conference that it was 'our duty as police officers to do everything in our power to identify and apprehend those fugitives who are wanted in connection with such serious crimes.'

The first in this series of arrests was made at the end of June after co-operation between officers in INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Service (FIS) and law enforcement officials in Rwanda, France and the United States led to the detention of Isaac Kamali at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.

In early October, a team from the FIS was deployed to Rwanda to liaise with the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTR, INTERPOL’s NCB in Kigali and the Rwandan judicial authorities in order to develop a common strategy in relation to the location and apprehension of genocide suspects around the word.