Arusha, March 28, 2012 FH) – Rwandan genocide-accused facing prosecution in Canada, Jacques Mungwarere, has renewed his application for access to proceedings before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in which he seeks right to use materials in 15 cases to prepare his defence.

1 min 11Approximate reading time

Mungwarere was arrested in Canada in November 2009. He is being prosecuted for genocide and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Kibuye prefecture, Western Rwanda, during the 1994 genocide.

In his first application of August 17, 2011, Mungwarere sought access to materials in the closed case of the Seventh Day Adventist Church Pastor, Elizaphan Ntakirutimana and his son, Dr. Gerard Ntakirutimana.

They were sentenced to 10 and 25 years imprisonment, on April 19, 2003 and their appeals were dismissed more than one year later. Pastor Ntakirutimana was released after completing his sentence and died on January 22, 2007 whereas his son, a medical doctor is still serving his sentence in Benin.

According to separate motions filed  before the ICTR in March 2012, Mugwarere now seeks right to use materials in 15 cases, including four major trials, notably the case known as MRND involving two former Rwandan top politicians, Matthieu Ngirumpatse and Edouard Karemera.

“Mungwarere seeks access to material related to the evidence of witness tampering, intimidation, collusion and recantation from the aforementioned proceedings to assist him in preparing his defence,” reads one of the motion filed and signed by Counsel Philippe Larochelle.

In one of his responses, the ICTR Prosecutor seeks dismissal of the motions on grounds that the law and jurisprudence of the Tribunal do not generally envisage cooperation between the court and an accused in another jurisdiction in an individual capacity.

The prosecutor contended that the accused was open to renew his application through the Canadian court seized with his case to seek clearly identifiable relevant ICTR material on his behalf in conformity with the law and jurisprudence of the Tribunal.

According to the motion, the trial is scheduled to start on April 30, 2012.