The handover of the files of the three high-level fugitives - Félicien Kabuga, Protais Mpriranya and Augustin Bizimana - to the Prosecutor of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) took place on 1 August 2012 in the Office of the Prosecutor of the MICT, Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow at ICTR in Arusha Tanzania.
Felicien Kabuga was the President of the Comité Provisoire de la défense nationale and President of the Comité d’Initiative de la Radio Télévision Libre des Milles Collines (RTLM). He is charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, crimes against humanity (Extermination).
Protais Mpiranya was Commander of the Presidential Guard Battalion within the High Command of the Rwandan Army. He is charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II. Augustin Bizimana was Minister of Defence in the Interim Government in 1994. He is charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II.
Addressing the audience, Prosecutor Jallow stressed that this event marked “the determination of the international community to continue the fight against impunity and to bring to justice the persons responsible for the violations of international humanitarian law in the Rwanda genocide, to deter the recurrence of such crimes, and contribute to the restoration and maintenance of peace and reconciliation. The functions of the Arusha Branch of the MICT will include: tracking and prosecution of the remaining fugitives, maintaining protective measures granted to victims and witnesses by the ICTR, hearing any appeals from judgments or sentences issued by the ICTR that fall within the Mechanism’s competence, as well as handling requests for review of judgments, as mandated by the Security Council.
The MICT will maintain the Tribunal’s vital role in assisting national jurisdictions by granting access to evidence, providing assistance in tracking fugitives whose cases have been transferred to national authorities, and monitoring cases transferred to national jurisdictions to ensure fair and impartial adjudication.
Responsibility for the preservation and management of the ICTR’s archives will also be an essential function for the Mechanism as the ICTR, working alongside the Mechanism, nears the completion of its mandate.