Arusha, June 21, 2012 (FH) – The prosecution and defence have lodged notices of appeal to challenge the decision by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), transferring to Rwanda for trial the case of genocide-accused, Bernard Munyagishari.

1 min 2Approximate reading time

On June 6, 2012, a Referral Chamber presided by Kenyan Judge Lee Muthoga ordered Munyagishari’s case to be referred to the authorities of the Republic of Rwanda, so that those authorities should forthwith refer the matter to the High Court of Rwanda for an expeditious trial.

 But in his notice of appeal dated June 20, 2012, ICTR Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow is disputing the imposition of some conditions in the referral decision, which should be fulfilled subject to its implementation.

Conditions include provision of guarantee by President of Kigali Bar Association to authority of the Tribunal that Munyagishari should remain indigent and assigned a lawyer with experience in international justice.

In their notice of appeal dated June 18, 2012, Munyagishari's lawyers oppose the entire referral decision, claiming among others that the UN Security Council recommended to transfer cases to national jurisdiction involving “intermediate or lower ranked” persons.

 The lawyer, Philippe Moriceau, stated that his client, who was President of Interahamwe and Secretary of MRND, a Rwandan ruling party in 1994, in Gisenyi prefecture, North Rwanda, could not fit into that category.

Munyagishari is charged with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide or, in the alternative, complicity in genocide, murder and rape as crimes against humanity.

 He was arrested on May 25, 2011 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and transferred to UN Detention in Arusha, Tanzania on June 14, 2011. He made his initial appearance before the Tribunal on June 20, 2011 and pleaded not guilty to the charges.