Arusha, July 19, 2012 (FH) – An appeal on behalf of fugitive Pheneas Munyarugarama, opposing transfer of his case to Rwanda, is likely to be the first case heard by the International Residual Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, Arusha Branch. 

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In an order dated July 17, Residual Mechanism President Theodor Meron directed the Registrar “to facilitate the cross-filing of the notice of appeal before the Mechanism”. He explained that according to UN Resolution 1966 (2010), “the Mechanism is seized with jurisdiction to hear appeals for which notice of appeal against the judgment is filed on or after commencement date of the Mechanism’s Branch”.   The Arusha Branch of the Mechanism was launched on July 1, taking over some of the duties of the ICTR as it winds down. Duty Counsel Francis Stolla, representing Munyarugarama, filed notice of appeal on July 11 against a June 28 ICTR decision to refer the fugitive's case to Rwanda, as part of its closure strategy.  The ICTR has charged Munyarugarama, who held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Rwandan army, with  genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity (extermination, murder, persecution and rape).Munyarugarama was Commander of Gako Camp in Kanzenze commune, Bugesera region of Kigali rural prefecture between early 1993 and May 1994.FK/NI/JC