The Chamber last month denied transfer of genocide suspect 73-year-old Yusuf Munyakazi, an ex-trader during the 1994 genocide.
“The appeal was deposited on Monday,’’ the Gambian-born ICTR boss confirmed to Hirondelle Agency.
The three-bench judges made of Erik Mose of Norway (presiding), Sergei Egorov (Russia) and Rita Arrey (Cameroon) in a decision rendered earlier this month, rejected the prosecution’s motion of Kanyarukiga’s transfer on grounds that the suspect may not receive a fair trial, adding that the he would also not be able to call witnesses residing outside Rwanda “to an extend and in a manner which will ensure a fair trial.”
The judges also accepted the defence attorneys’ arguments that it would face problems in obtaining witnesses in Rwanda “because they will be afraid to testify”.
The ruling stated that the suspect, if convicted to life imprisonment, may risk solitary confinement “due to unclear legal provisions in Rwanda.”
However, the Chambers have acknowledged Rwanda’s notable progress in its judicial system, including abolishing the death penalty since last year.
In addition to submissions by the Prosecution and the Defence, the judges considered briefs from the Rwandan government, the Kigali Bar Association, Human Rights Watch and the International Criminal Defence Attorneys Association, which had been given amicus curiae(friends of the court) status.
Kanyarukiga, who was arrested in South-Africa in July 2004, is alleged to have participated in 1994 genocide in Kibuye Province, western Rwanda. He has pleaded not guilty.
Last week, another Chamber turned the transfer of Commander of Ngoma Camp, Lieutenant Ildephonse Hategekimana on similar grounds.
Justice Jallow said that he would also appeal against Hategekimana.
The other two accused targeted for transfers and their decisions are awaited are: former Mayor Jean Baptist Gatete and former Inspector of Judicial Police, Fulgence Kaysihema. The latter is still at large.
The prosecution’s transfer motions are within the framework of the ICTR’s exit strategy, which wants to transfer some cases to national jurisdictions in order to finish by the end of the year all first instance trials as directed by the Security Council. However, the Prosecutor last week asked the Security Council for additional one year to complete their work.
Headquartered in Arusha, northern Tanzania, ICTR has, so far delivered 30 convictions and five acquittals.
Eight accused, held in Arusha, are currently awaiting their trials. One is detained in Europe awaiting his transfer to the ICTR, whereas 13 suspects are still on the run, including Felicien Kabuga, the alleged financier of killings, which according to UN estimates, claimed lives of about 800,000 people, mostly ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.