The Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Hassan Bubacar Jallow has filed an application to refer the case of Genocide-suspect Bernard Munyagishari to Rwanda, for trial.
Munyagishari, the former head of the Interahamwe militia in Gisenyi, is charged with five counts that include Genocide, and rape as a Crime against Humanity, during the Genocide that claimed over one million lives.
“The prosecutor filed the request on Monday. We have asked the President of the Tribunal to designate a Trial Chamber to hear and determine the matter,” Agencies quote James Arguin, the Prosecutions’ s Chief of Appeals and Legal Advisory as saying on Tuesday.
Arguin said that the Prosecutor’s application was based on grounds that the alleged crimes in the indictment were committed in Rwanda, hence has jurisdiction over accused and the matter.
In his six-month report to the UN Security Council in June 2011, Prosecutor Jallow said he was planning to file five additional requests for the transfer of cases, involving four fugitives and one detainee.
Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga said: “That is a good move that we support, fully. And even this week, we confirmed our readiness to receive five more cases that the Prosecutor intends to file for their transfer to Rwanda in a short while.”
“I am optimistic the new applications will go through given the fact that we have done a lot to address and fix areas the Tribunal had concerns about.
“The fact that the Prosecutor is filing for transfer of many cases is based on his convictions that we have capacity and will to handle them appropriately.”
Munyagishari was born in 1959 in the then Rubavu commune in the Western Province.
He was arrested pursuant to an international arrest warrant issued by the tribunal in 2005.
He has featured on the US Rewards for Justice programme as a fugitive from international justice.
The tribunal recently made a land mark ruling, sanctioning for the transfer to Rwanda of Jean Umwinkindi, a former clergyman, to stand trial by Rwandan courts.
The case is, however, subject to an appeal process after which the suspect may finally be transferred.