On Wednesday 17 July 2013 officials of the ICTR/MICT acting on behalf of The Prosecutor of the ICTR, Hassan B. Jallow, in Arusha, Tanzania, handed over the case file of Bernard Munyagishari to a representative of the Rwandan Prosecutor General’s Office. The transfer of Munyagishari’s case file to Rwanda marked the last of such transfers from the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTR following the transfer of seven other cases on previous occasions. This latest transfer also concluded a significant phase in the Tribunal’s Completion Strategy. It follows the recent decision of the ICTR Appeals Chamber on 3 May 2013 to uphold a referral decision of the Trial Chamber which allowed for the transfer of the case to Rwanda following a successful application by the Prosecutor under Rule 11bis of the ICTR Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
Bernard Munyagishari was a former Secretary General of the MRND and President of the Interahamwe in Gisenyi Prefecture, Rwanda, in 1994. He was arrested on 25 May 2011 in Kachanga, North Kivu, DRC and transferred to the ICTR in Arusha on 14 June 2011. He made his initial appearance before Judge Byron on 20 June 2011 and pleaded not-guilty to five counts charging him with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity for murder and rape, in connection with the killings and rapes of Tutsi women in Gisenyi prefecture and beyond between April and July 1994 carried out at the Catholic Church, Saint Fidèle College, the Convent in Nyundo Parish, the ‘Commune Rouge’ and other places. He is also alleged to have recruited a Special Corps of Interhamwe called the ‘Ntarumikwa to carry out these crimes.
Munyagishari will shortly be handed over to the Rwandan authorities to stand trial on these charges.