Int'l court refuses to halt Rwandan's release

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International Criminal Court judges refused Monday to block the release of a Rwandan rebel prosecutors accuse of involvement in deadly attacks by a Hutu militia on villages in Congo in 2009.

The pre-trial judges ordered the release of Callixte Mbarushimana on Friday after dismissing all charges against him for lack of evidence. If he is freed, Mbarushimana would be the first suspect released from ICC custody since the court's inception in 2002.

Prosecutors had said they would appeal the ruling and asked the court to delay Mbarushimana's release pending the outcome of the appeal. But in Monday's written decision, judges ruled that Mbarushimana can no longer be detained because the 11 charges against him have been dismissed.

"A warrant of arrest previously issued ceases to have effect with respect to any charges not confirmed by the Pre-Trial Chamber," the judges wrote.

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