The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), sitting in Arusha, has today dismissed an appeal lodged by Bernard Ntuyahaga against the Trial Chamber’s decision to allow withdrawal of the indictment against him. The case before the ICTR is now closed.
On 18 March 1999 Trial Chamber I of the ICTR granted the Prosecutor’s motion to withdraw the last remaining count of the indictment against Bernard Ntuyahaga and ordered his immediate release. Ntuyahaga appealed against that decision considering that he should instead have been acquitted of the charge.
A majority of the Appeals Chamber (Judges Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, Lal Chand Vorah, Wang Tieya and Rafael Nieto-Navia) found that the appeal was not admissible since it was not an appeal against conviction, nor was it raised on the basis of a challenge to the jurisdiction of the Trial Chamber.
Judge Shahabuddeen, in a dissenting opinion, considered that the Appellant was objecting to the jurisdiction of the Trial Chamber to allow the indictment to be withdrawn without recording a verdict of acquittal and that the appeal was therefore admissible.