Notorious Genocide suspect up for transfer

Prosecution has said it is prepared to handle the case of notorious Genocide suspect Bernard Munyagishari as soon as he is transferred from International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

Prosecution has said it is prepared to handle the case of notorious Genocide suspect Bernard Munyagishari as soon as he is transferred from International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

On July 8, the Appeals Chamber of the ICTR ruled that Munyagishari should be transferred to Rwanda within 30 days, implying that the Registrar’s office would ensure they process his transfer before August 7.

 

“We just received the case file and we are waiting for the removal of the detainee from Arusha. We have a fully functioning system to handle the case as we are already handling several others in the same category,” Prosecutor-General Martin Ngoga said yesterday.

 

Step in transfer

 

Munyagishari will be the second Genocide suspect transferred to Rwanda by ICTR after Jean Uwinkindi early this year. Such suspects are tried in the Special Chamber of the High Court where Uwinkindi.

During the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Munyagishari, 53, was general secretary of the then ruling party, National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND), in Gisenyi Prefecture and president of the Interahamwe militia. 

He was arrested in May 2011 in DR Congo and charged with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide, as well as murder and rape as crimes against humanity.

His crimes

The indictment says due to his rank in both the MRND and the militia, Munyagishari exercised effective control and authority over the Interahamwe and the Impuzamugambi militia in Gisenyi and its surroundings.

Also, at the beginning of 1994, Munyagishari received a list of Tutsis to be killed in the town of Gisenyi and its surroundings, the charge sheet says.

After the assassination of Juvenal Habyarimana on April 6, 1994, it was Munyagishari who organised a house-to-house search for Tutsis to be purged. In addition, from April 7 to July 17, 1994, he supervised roadblocks in Gisenyi and its surroundings and ordered the pogrom, the indictment adds.

Victims were herded to a notorious killing field, Commune Rouge (loosely translated as Red district) because of the amount of blood spilt at that spot.

The ICTR has previously transferred to Kigali six other case files of Genocide fugitives as part of its exit strategy since the tribunal is scheduled to close shop by 2014.

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