, THE HAGUE, Dec 19 – The International Criminal Court on Monday rejected a prosecution demand that it suspend an order to free Rwandan rebel leader Callixte Mbarushimana after dropping war crimes charges against him.
The “pre-trial chamber … rejects the prosecution’s application,” the ICC said in the decision posted on its website.
The court’s chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo had Friday appealed the decision to release Mbarushimana, identified as the executive secretary of the Democratic Forces of the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebel group.
Moreno-Ocampo said releasing Mbarushimana would impeding an investigation and he then announced he would appeal the court’s decision to drop the charges.
The ICC’s pre-trial chamber said the decision to suspend the decision to release Mbarushimana “only the appeals chamber can order.”
Mbarushimana, 48, was arrested on an ICC warrant on October 11 in Paris, where he has been living since 2002. He was transferred to The Hague on January 25 and has repeatedly protested his innocence.